Trump breaks tradition, introduces wife’s speech on stage at RNC before nomination

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CLEVELAND — The latest on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (all time local), where Donald Trump will officially be named the Republican nominee for president:

10:35 p.m.

It's a rare campaign appearance for Melania Trump — and she's telling her life story to the crowd at the Republican National Committee.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump introduces his wife Melania on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump introduces his wife Melania on the first day of the Republican National Convention. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

She's a former model who moved to the United States from Slovenia. She's recounting how she became a U.S. citizen and she's citing "the love in the Trump family."

Melania Trump is the first of several of Donald Trump's family members who are on the list of speakers at the Cleveland convention this week. Their appearances are an attempt to humanize the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

She has thanked the crowd for "the warm welcome" and said her husband was "moved by this great honor."

Melania Trump says she and her husband "love America very much" and that she, more than anyone, knows what she's calling the "the simple goodness" of her husband's heart.

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10:25 p.m.

Donald Trump has arrived at the Republican National Convention that will nominate him for president of the United States.

Trump drew cheers as he took the stage to the tune of "We are the Champions," by Queen. With the crowd roaring in delight, Trump appeared silhouetted behind a screen, his trademark hairstyle clear against the backdrop. Smoke machines completed the rock star intro as Trump walked to the stage to greet his supporters.

He was there to introduce his wife, Melania, before her remarks to the delegates.

The candidate made only brief comments, telling the crowd in Cleveland: "We're going to win, we're going to win so big."

Still, it's unconventional for a candidate to appear on stage and speak before the official nomination process, which doesn't occur until Tuesday.

Trump is expected to return to Manhattan late Monday and then travel back to Cleveland Wednesday afternoon. He's set to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday night to close out the convention.

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10:10 p.m.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has given a forceful defense of law enforcement at the Republican National Convention.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: The stage is left empty after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus left the stage during protests on the floor on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: The stage is left empty after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus left the stage during protests on the floor on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

He's gotten the biggest cheers of the night from the crowd of more than 2,000 delegates.

Giuliani has been critical of those who protest against police, including those involved with the group Black Lives Matter.

He says when police officers "come to save your life, they don't ask if you are black and white, they just come to safe you."

He also called Donald Trump "a man with a big heart" who's helped out their native New York City. He says Trump would anonymously help the families of police officers who were injured in the line of duty.

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10:05 p.m.

A lone protester from the liberal activist group Code Pink is attempting to disrupt the proceedings at the Republican National Convention.

A woman dressed in pink began shouting during a speech by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

She tried to unfurl a pink banner, which other spectators tried to rip from her hands.

The protester was quickly surrounded by photographers. It took security several minutes to remove her from the audience.

The woman was shouting "end Mike Pence's war on women" — Pence is the Indiana governor who's Trump's running mate.

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10 p.m.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has a message for the military: "Help is on the way" if Donald Trump is president.

Cotton tells GOP convention delegates the U.S. "could not afford" four years of a Hillary Clinton administration.

The senator — who some believe will someday make his own White House run — was the latest in a line of speakers Monday night who hammering the theme that Trump will be the "law and order candidate" who will "make America safe again."

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9:35 p.m.

The sheriff of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin has energized the crowd at the Republican National Convention by declaring, "Blue Lives Matter in this country."

Sheriff David Clarke — a Donald Trump supporter — has made the night's most explicit reference to the recent deaths of two black men at the hands of police officers and the slaying of officers in Texas and Louisiana.

Trump also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement in an interview that aired Monday night on Fox News Channel. He didn't make a specific reference to that movement. But he said some activists "are essentially calling death to the police — that is not acceptable."

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9:30 p.m.

A cousin of the American ambassador killed in Benghazi, Libya, is accusing Republicans of politicizing the diplomat's death.

The envoy, Chris Stevens, was among four Americans who died in the attacks on the U.S. compound in 2012.

Stevens' cousin, David Perry, posted a tweet just as speakers took the stage Monday night at the GOP convention to blame former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for what they say was lax security at the compound.

Perry says in his tweet that Stevens "loved Arabic, diplomacy, internationalism. I reject politicization of his death."

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9 p.m.

Donald Trump is competing with his own convention as he previews his Thursday night speech accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Trump tells Fox News Channel that the speech it will be "relatively long" and will touch on national security and domestic policy.

The interview on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" began as the mother of a State Department employee killed in Benghazi, Libya, was speaking on the Republican National Convention stage.

Trump says his convention speech will discuss a "major, major" tax cut, immigration, ditching burdensome regulations and taking care of veterans.

Trump also criticized Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who's skipping the convention and hasn't endorsed Trump.

Trump says Kasich should have attended "from the standpoint of honor."

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8:50 p.m.

Delegates attending the first night of the Republican National Convention are eagerly anticipating a speech from Melania Trump — the wife of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

She rarely campaigns on behalf of her husband. But she's the Monday night headliner at the convention in Cleveland.

Here's what Steve King, an Iowa congressman says: "The whole world is watching. This is their first big look at her."

He says it's important to see "the success of the family unit working together."

Saul Anuzis is a former chairman of Michigan's Republican Party.

He says: "This is the first chance a lot of us are going to get to see, let's call it the real Trump story."

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8:40 p.m.

The mother of one of the four Americans killed in the siege on an U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, is taking on Hillary Clinton.

Pat Smith tells Republican delegates at their convention: "If Hillary Clinton can't give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?"

Smith's son, Sean, was a State Department foreign service officer Sean Smith who died in the 2012 attack.

Pat Smith says she blames Clinton — who was secretary of state — "personally" for her son's death.

The convention's program Monday night had a strong focus on Benghazi — an issue that Republicans have pressed for years against Clinton, claiming her negligence contributed to the Americans' death.

Delegates also saw a video and presentation about Benghazi.

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8:25 p.m.

The retired Navy SEAL at the heart of the book and movie "Lone Survivor" has drawn cheers and shouts of "thank you" from the crowd at the Republican National Convention.

Marcus Luttrell was introduced by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Luttrell spoke about the need for the government to take better care of veterans when they return to the United States.

Luttrell praised Donald Trump's commitment to the military. Luttrell also somewhat touched on the recent violence against police officers — telling delegates that the nation's "next war is here."

And in a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, Luttrell said: "In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter."

Luttrell co-wrote a book about a 2005 gun battle in Afghanistan — an incident that later was made in to a movie.

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8:20 p.m.

Television actor Scott Baio tells the Republican National Convention that "our country is in a very bad spot" and that "we need Donald Trump to fix this."

Baio is the former star of "Charles in Charge" and "Happy Days. He said Monday at the convention in Cleveland that presumptive Republican nominee Trump isn't "a messiah." But Baio says Trump is someone he'd "trust with the lives of our family and the health of country."

Baio is bashing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for feeling "entitled" to the presidency.

The actor is an outspoken advocate on social media for conservative causes. He's one of the bigger stars among the speakers at the convention — part of what Trump has suggested would be "a showbiz convention."

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8:15 p.m.

The star of the TV show "Duck Dynasty" says the America needs "a president who would have our back," and Willie Robertson says that's Donald Trump.

Robertson was the first speaker Monday night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He tells the crowd of more than 2,000 delegates that that Trump is the candidate running for president who will best support the military and the nation's police officers.

Robertson tossed in a little playful criticism of the news media on Monday night, hitting them "for missing the Trump train." He joked that he and Trump had three things in common: they were successful businessmen, had hit television shows and had wives "more attractive than we are."

Trump's wife Melania is the headline speaker on Monday, and she'll speak at the end of the evening's festivities.

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8:10 p.m.

The first night session of the Republican National Convention is underway in Cleveland.

The headliner is Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is expected to introduce his wife before she speaks.

The evening session was gaveled to order around 8 p.m. and began with a presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem and a prayer.

It comes after a raucous afternoon session that rang in the proceedings at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Anti-Trump delegates wanted a state-by-state roll call vote on the convention's rules. That would have meant a drawn-out process and could have exposed party divisions. But the rules were passed on second attempt on a voice vote over the shouts of those anti-Trump delegates.

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7 p.m.

A former top intelligence official says Donald Trump "recognizes the threats we face and is not afraid to call them what they are."

Michael Flynn once led the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama and was thought to be on the short list of potential running mates for Trump.

Flynn is one of the scheduled speakers at the Republican National Convention on Monday night, and he says in prepared remarks that Obama has led with "bumbling indecisiveness."

Flynn says Trump will help "restore America's role as the undeniable and unquestioned world leader."

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6:40 p.m.

The brother and sister of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry say Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate who'll secure the border.

Terry was shot and killed in a remote stretch of desert in Arizona in December 2010.

Guns found at the scene were later traced to a failed gun-trafficking investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Two men in the United States illegally have been convicted in Brian Terry's death.

Kelly Terry-Willis and Kent Terry are among the scheduled speakers at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. They say in prepared remarks that Trump is serious about border security and will give border agents "the resources and support needed to do their jobs."

The Terrys say: "President Trump will make America's borders secure again."

 

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5:30 p.m.

GOP officials say delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia pulled their names from petitions calling for a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules that'll govern the Republican convention.

Anti-Donald Trump forces had collected enough signatures to force the roll call vote. But Trump supporters circulated a form enabling delegates to remove their names.

Delegates from Washington state also had submitted petitions calling for a full vote. Delegate Kevin Marks says the head of his state's delegation, Susan Hutchison, tried to persuade delegates on the convention floor to remove their names by warning them they'd embarrass their state.

 

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5:10 p.m.

Who had the job of restoring order from the podium when the Republican National Convention was breaking into chaos?

It wasn't House Speaker Paul Ryan or the party chairman, Reince Priebus.

That responsibility fell to the presiding officer — an Arkansas congressman named Steve Womack. He may be little known outside his state or away from Capitol Hill.

Womack talked firmly over angry delegates on Monday, and he called for a voice vote on a rules package opposed by anti-Donald Trump forces. Womack then declared that the "aye" side had prevailed.

Womack is a leadership ally who's part of the vote-counting whip team in the House. He's a retired Army National Guard officer.

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5 p.m.

The Republican Party has adopted what Christian conservatives are cheering as the most conservative statement of party policy principles in recent memory.

The GOP national convention has approved language reaffirming the party's opposition to gay marriage and bathroom choice for transgender people.

And there's new language condemning same-sex parenting.

Here's what it says: "Children raised in a traditional two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to sue drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage."

The party's platform represents the GOP's formal policy positions for the next four years. The document serves as guidance for Republican leaders across the nation, but is not binding.

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4:45 p.m.

It took two votes, but delegates at the Republican National Convention were able to approve the rules that'll govern the convention.

It was some scene.

The rules won approval in an initial voice vote, and then anti-Donald Trump delegates became raucous and started chanting, "Call the roll!"

Others drowned them out with chants of "USA!"

There was a brief break before Steve Womack — the Arkansas congressman who was chairing the proceedings — returned to the podium and called for a second voice vote.

He said for a second time that the rules had passed.

The anti-Trump delegates wanted a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules. That would have been a drawn-out process and could have exposed party divisions.

These delegates collected enough signatures on petitions to force a roll-call vote, but Trump supporters persuaded some delegates to remove their names.

Ending the dust-up was important to show at least a veneer of party unity behind Trump.

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4:40 p.m.

A spokesman for Chris Christie says the New Jersey governor was mistaken when he referred to a donation made by Donald Trump to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

Christie spokesman Brian Murray says Christie "misspoke" about the Sandy donation. The spokesman says Trump has given to other New Jersey charities, including a foundation dedicated to the governor's mansion.

Earlier Monday, Christie told the Michigan delegation at the GOP convention that his wife, Mary Pat Christie, once asked Trump for a Sandy donation and that Trump responded by saying: "How much does the check need to be? Just tell me, and I'll send it."

But Trump isn't listed in a final report thanking the more than 150 people and companies that donated at least $25,000 to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

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4:35 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been officially elected chairman of the Republican National Convention.

The Wisconsin lawmaker was elected on a quick voice vote with no opposition.

Ryan will now preside over the convention to nominate Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president.

Ryan has had an uneasy relationship with Trump. He endorsed the billionaire businessman but has criticized some of Trump's rhetoric.

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4:30 p.m.

Donald Trump's supporters have succeeded in heading off a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules that will govern the GOP's national convention.

Anti-Trump delegates collected signatures on petitions calling for the vote.

They had support from a majority of the delegates in nine states — two more than needed.

But Rep. Steve Womack — who was chairing the proceedings — said from the podium that delegates from three states withdrew their signatures. He then declared that the effort had fallen short.

Womack took the unusual step of calling for two separate voice votes. He declared the pro-Trump delegates victorious both times.

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4:20 p.m.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (L) along with other delegates from Virginia chant for a rule call vote on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (L) along with other delegates from Virginia chant for a rule call vote on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Republican leaders have hastily approved rules that will govern the Republican National Convention — but approval came over the loud objections from anti-Donald Trump delegates.

The dissident delegates are pressing to hold a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules.

Instead, Rep. Steve Womack, who was chairing the proceedings, called a quick voice vote.

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4:15 p.m.

The Republican National Convention has started considering reports by the convention committees.

The convention is starting with the report by the credentials committee. Delegates also will consider and vote on the rules of the convention.

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4 p.m.

A Republican Party official says nine states have submitted petitions to force a full state-by-state roll call vote on the rules of the convention. That's two more states than necessary.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Campaign buttons seen on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Campaign buttons seen on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The official says the party has verified that the petitions and signatures are legitimate.

The official wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The vote is sought by anti-Donald Trump delegates who want the ability to vote for someone other than Trump.

He's amassed far more delegates than he needs to win the GOP presidential nomination.

The drawn-out vote probably won't change the outcome of the convention, but it could expose party divisions.

The Trump campaign is fighting back by circulating a form allowing people to remove their names from the roll-call vote petition

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3:20 p.m.

There is no shortage of action inside the convention hall as anti-Trump delegates work to cause mischief behind the scenes.

A steady stream of speakers has already been featured at the podium. They include several state and country Republican officials, with a special welcome from one Democrat: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. He got a warm reception from the hundreds of Republican delegates seated in the main convention hall.

In between speakers, loud music is pumping throughout the basketball arena. A band set off to the side of the stage played a cover of the popular Canadian band, Rush, among others.

At other times, Republican governors from across the nation are featured on video screens throughout the arena — including some governors who are not participating in the formal convention program. They include Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Susana Martinez, who are in Cleveland this week, but boycotting Trump's' convention.

The higher profile-speakers, such as actors Scott Baio and Duck Dynasty star Will Robertson will take the stage later tonight.

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3:15 p.m.

The Trump campaign is fighting back against an attempt to force a state-by-state roll call to approve the rules of the convention.

Anti-Trump delegates have submitted petitions from delegates in at least nine states calling for the roll call vote. Such a vote probably won't change the outcome of the convention, but it could disrupt the first day of an event designed to show GOP unity behind Donald Trump.

However, Utah delegate Aimee Winder Newton says the Trump campaign is passing around a form allowing people to remove their names from the petition. Basically, it's a second petition to un-sign the first. She says no one appears to be taking them up on it.

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2:49 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie describes presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as generous, citing as proof his quick offer to donate money to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

But Trump isn't listed in a final report thanking the more than 150 people and companies that donated at least $25,000 to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund effort run by Christie's wife, Mary Pat, after the devastating 2012 storm.

Christie told Michigan's Republican delegation in Ohio Monday that the billionaire businessman asked Mary Pat "How much does the check need to be?" and said "just tell me, and I'll send it."

Spokespeople for Trump, Christie and a board member of the fund didn't immediately return requests for comment.

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2:46 p.m.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson says that Donald Trump made the right choice when he selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, describing the ticket as "anti-establishment, but not crazy."

Carson tells The Associated Press in an interview Monday that he believes Pence adds crucial experience to the ticket — along with fundraising prowess.

He also expects a Trump presidency would be very different from the unconventional campaign that he's been running.

Carson says that, "we're more the WWE Raw society right now" and says candidates need to understand that when they're running for office.

"You have to give to people the raw meat that they seek," he says.

But he expects Trump would mellow if he won the White House. "I don't think he would be the WWE president," he says.

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2:40 p.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is on his way to Cleveland to be confirmed as Donald Trump's running mate.

Pence boarded a private jet Monday afternoon at Indianapolis International Airport with his wife, Karen, and one of his daughters for the trip to the Republican National Convention.

The Republican governor had returned to Indiana on Saturday following his formal debut that morning as Donald Trump's running mate in Manhattan.

Pence didn't make any remarks or take any questions before his Monday departure, which wasn't open to the public. Pence is expected to speak Wednesday during the GOP convention.

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2:25 p.m.

Members of the GOP convention's rules committee say there will be no changes that could deny the Republican nomination to Donald Trump.

There are still efforts to force a state-by-state roll call on the rules for the convention. Such a maneuver could draw out the process and disrupt the flow of the convention. But it won't change the outcome.

"The war is over, Donald Trump will be the nominee," said Bruce Ash, an Arizona delegate who sits on the rules committee.

Dissident delegates want to change the rules to allow them to vote their conscience. Under current rules, they must vote for the candidate who won them.

 

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1:34 p.m.

Newt Gingrich says the Bush family is behaving "childishly" for skipping this week's Republican National Convention.

In a Monday morning interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" at the RNC site in Cleveland, the former GOP House speaker said "the Republican party has been awfully good to the Bushes and they're showing remarkably little gratitude."

He says the family needs to "get over" former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's loss to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in the primary race.

Gingrich also says he's not disappointed that he was passed over by Trump for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket in favor of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He says if the job is to court support from "regular Republicans," then Pence "will do a much better job."

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1:24 p.m.

A group of dissident conservatives says it's gathered the signatures needed to force a showdown vote over Republican rules on the GOP national convention's first day.

Party leaders have been trying to avert the clash in hopes of projecting an image of a united party as delegates gather to formally nominate Donald Trump to be president. They've been lobbying to try to head off the clash, and expect to win if such a vote occurs.

But just after the convention was gaveled into session on Monday, a dissident group called Delegates Unbound said in an email that it had gathered statements calling for a roll call by a majority of delegates from 10 states. Under GOP rules, a roll call can be demanded if most delegates from seven states sign such a statement.

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1:00 p.m.

Republicans have opened their convention in Cleveland where they'll nominate Donald Trump to be the party's presidential standard-bearer in November.

Party chairman Reince Preibus kicked off the four-day event. He almost immediately asked for a moment of silence to remember those who been killed during recent "troubling times."

The major speakers are slated for the evening when Melania Trump, wife of the candidate, addresses the delegates.

 

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12:29 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that he's relieved Donald Trump chose a governor to be his running mate and that "we don't need another big mouth from Congress."

Christie told a group of Michigan Republicans gathered in Ohio Monday that Trump needed someone with him who has governed.

Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were runners-up to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in Trump's vice presidential search. Christie didn't mention Gingrich when making the "big mouth" comment.

Christie told reporters Sunday that he was disappointed he wasn't chosen, but has "no discontent."

Speaking at a hotel outside of Cleveland, Christie told the Michigan delegation that the GOP needs to come together to defeat Hillary Clinton .

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12:12 p.m.

Melania Trump is drawing lots of online interest ahead of her prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention.

The wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday morning was the most widely searched of the convention's GOP speakers among Google users.

Google Trends says actor Scott Baio and David A. Clarke Jr., the sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, also are drawing wide interest.

Baio is a veteran actor who has starred the shows "Charles In Charge," ''Joanie Loves Chachi" and "Happy Days." Clarke, who is African-American, has spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement and blames its supporters for inflaming racial tensions.

Meanwhile, the top searched political issues on Monday were "police," ''race issues" and "ISIS."

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12:06 p.m.

Newt Gingrich says last-ditch efforts by conservative delegates to block Donald Trump's nomination at the Republican National Convention are "silly" and should stop.

Gingrich is among those that Trump considered to become his running mate and is the former House speaker.

Some outnumbered delegates are trying to force the GOP to make rules changes that would include letting delegates back any presidential candidate they'd like and weaken the power of Republican Party leaders.

The Georgia Republican says of that effort, "It's silly. Trump carried 37 states. He's going to be the nominee."

Gingrich spoke to a reporter outside the convention center as delegates filed into the Quicken Loans Arena for Monday's start of the convention.

 

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11:49 a.m.

Republicans are delicately thinking of the 2020 presidential campaign before Donald Trump even accepts the 2016 GOP presidential nomination in Cleveland.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton didn't speak of the next presidential campaign during an address to about 100 Republican activists at a downtown convention center as the GOP convention opened. But some delegates present said they heard a potential 2020 candidate speaking.

Jane Page of Aiken, South Carolina, said the group is "really good at identifying candidates four, even six years out," and added that Cotton, a freshman senator, is "impressive."

Cotton, a 37-year-old former U.S. House member and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, railed on Democratic President Barack Obama's national security policies, and touted a more aggressive military policy.

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11:23 a.m.

Minnesota Republicans are backing a last-ditch effort that could hinder business mogul Donald Trump's nomination for the president.

Republicans prepared to start their convention Monday, with an expected vote in the afternoon on the rules that will govern the week. Insurgent delegates have circulated a petition to force a state-by-state vote as part of their bid to deny Trump the nomination.

Minnesota delegate Matt Pagano confirmed a majority of the state's 38 delegates supported a roll call vote. A majority of delegates from seven states must back the effort to force a roll call vote.

Minnesota handed Trump one of his worst finishes in an otherwise strong primary season performance this winter. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won the state, and Trump finished third with 8 delegates.

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