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On Day 1 of RNC, delegates renominate Trump, who makes surprise appearance

Republicans have opened their downsized party gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina -- and already renominated President Trump and Vice President Pence. The first day of the convention included a surprise appearance from Trump, who addressed 336 social-distanced delegates. On Monday night, party leaders and other speakers will emphasize a theme of “Land of Promise.” Amna Nawaz reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Republicans have opened their convention, and they have already renominated President Trump. It came on day one of the downsized party gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and included a surprise appearance by the nominee.

    Amna Nawaz begins our coverage.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    A scaled-back convention with a major 2020 mile marker.

  • Audience:

    Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The renomination of Donald Trump and Mike Pence to serve four more years in the White House.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Joe Biden was going to have their convention in Milwaukee, and they didn't go there at all.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The president appeared in person to address delegates.

  • President Donald Trump:

    And we said, let's have our big deal, the roll call, let's have it right here, and let's do it, and I'm going to show up.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    This mid-pandemic convention featured just 336 delegates socially distanced in Charlotte.

  • Man:

    You're re-hired.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    A straightforward roll call, simpler than Democrats' virtual tour last week.

  • Jay Shepard:

    I am a Catholic Donald Trump Republican.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And an invocation that blessed the incumbent, and seemed to swipe at his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is Catholic.

  • Jay Shepard:

    Let us not be deceived by those that were once close to you, but have turned away in favor of embracing political ideology, yet claiming Catholic beliefs and words.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The convention gets under way after a bruising few days for President Trump. Late last week, his former top aide Steve Bannon was arrested on fraud charges connected to a border wall crowdfunding campaign.

    A federal judge last week ruled the president must release his tax returns as part of a hush money probe by the Manhattan district attorney. And, today, New York's attorney general ramped up pressure in an ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization.

    And over the weekend, The Washington Post published audio of the president's sister, retired federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, disparaging her brother.

  • Maryanne Trump Barry:

    I'm talking too freely, but you know. It is the change of stories, the lack of preparation, the lying, the holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED). But he's appealing to the base.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Just last night, President Trump announced the FDA's emergency approval of a plasma-based coronavirus therapy.

  • President Donald Trump:

    This is what I have been looking to do for a long time. This is a great thing.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But that was accompanied by reports that top health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, doubted if the data backed that move.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I have been pleading with the president for the last three months: You need a plan.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Meanwhile, the newly nominated Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket launched their post-convention assault on the president, sitting down for their first joint interview with ABC News.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I don't blame him for the COVID crisis. I blame him for walking away and not dealing with the solutions.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    There is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what he is doing every day that is about neglect, negligence and harm.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    When Republicans continue their convention tonight, they will feature a mix of both party leaders from the House and Senate and everyday Americans offering testimonials for the president and his leadership.

    Like the Democratic Convention last week, Republicans' programming, at least tonight, will also include both taped and live speeches, all delivering remarks under the theme "Land of Promise."

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.

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