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Trump makes surprise appearance at RNC as GOP formally nominates him for reelection

Republican National Convention kicks off
Republican National Convention kicks off 02:48

Washington — President Trump made a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention on Monday, as party members formally nominated him in a roll call on the opening day of the convention. Mr. Trump received 2,550 delegates votes, unanimously making him the party nominee.

Delegates convened in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a roll call vote, during which they officially cast votes to renominate Vice President Mike Pence and Mr. Trump, who arrived in North Carolina shortly before the vote.

The president, without evidence, repeated his claim that Democrats are trying to rig the election with fraudulent mail-in ballots. The president said Democrats are also "using COVID to steal the election." 

"They are trying to steal the election, just like they did it last time with spying," Mr. Trump said. 

The president said he "felt an obligation to be here," despite North Carolina's Democratic governor imposing restrictions due to COVID-19. 

Mr. Trump said this is the "most important election in the history of our country." 

As the president spoke, the crowd chanted, "four more years, four more years."

Donald Trump — 2020 Republican National Convention
President Donald speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on August 24, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four-day RNC event is themed "Honoring the Great American Story." Jessica Koscielniak / Getty Images

Mr. Trump is set to deliver his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination from the White House on Thursday. Pence appeared before the convention in Charlotte following his unanimous renomination as vice president to address attendees. The vice president will deliver his acceptance speech at Fort McHenry in Maryland on Wednesday night.

"I'm here for one reason, and one reason only," Pence said. "And that is not just the Republican Party, but America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House."

Unlike during the Democratic National Convention last week, where delegates appeared remotely from their home states to cast their votes for president and nominated Joe Biden, Republican delegates convened in-person for a scaled-back convention.

While official party business is set to take place during the day in Charlotte, Republican lawmakers, members of the Trump family and Americans are set to deliver speeches across more than two hours of programming each night. Monday's schedule includes former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Donald Trump Jr., and Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina will close out the night's festivities.

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