The Latest: Cousin of envoy killed in Libya criticizes GOP


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (all time local):

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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5:40 p.m.

A car carrying some of Donald Trump’s campaign staff was involved in a minor accident on the way from Trump Tower in New York to LaGuardia Airport.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says the staff car was traveling separately from Trump’s motorcade.

Trump wasn’t in the car involved in the accident, and Hicks says everyone is OK.

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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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5:20 p.m.

Democrats say some “everyday Americans” will speak at the party’s national convention next week.

The speakers include many people who Hillary Clinton met while campaigning. Others are involved in work that’s similar to the kind of advocacy Clinton once did as a young lawyer — and they will highlight her advocacy on behalf of children and families.

The group includes a survivor of the 9/11 attacks, a family impacted by opioid addiction, a home health aide involved in the fight for a $15 minimum wage and the daughter of the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — — the scene of a mass shooting in 2012.

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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 (ryns PREE’-bus).

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.

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.

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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