The president is also expected to have ‘significant’ role on convention’s second night
The other major speech of the evening will come from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the address by America’s top diplomat, which will be delivered from the Middle East, has been shrouded in controversy.
Libertarian minded Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky – a 2016 Republican presidential candidate who, along with Pompeo, may have White House ambitions in 2024 – will also give an address.
But President Trump won’t be far from the spotlight as the convention is also a four-day celebration of his presidency. The Trump reelection campaign told reporters that the president will have a “significant role” on Tuesday night, appearing “more than once” in the programming.
Fox News is told one of the president’s appearances will be a naturalization ceremony to highlight legal immigration.
The preisdent also announced a pardon of Jon Ponder ahead of the convicted bank robber-turned activist’s appearance at the convention. Ponder, who founded the nonprofit Hope For Prisoners, will be speaking at the convention, along with Richard Beasley, the FBI agent who arrested him, Fox News is told.
Two more of the president’s children will speak on the second night of the convention: his son Eric and his daughter Tiffany.
The governor and lieutenant governor of two general election battleground states crucial to a Trump victory in November also get speaking slots on Tuesday. They are Gov. Kim Keynolds of Iowa and Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez.
And Nicholas Sandmann, the Trump supporter and MAGA cap wearing teen from Covington, Ky., will also play a role in the convention. Sandmann made national headlines last year after being falsely accused of harassing a Native American demonstrator as he and fellow classmates protested against abortion rights at the Lincoln Memorial in the nation’s capital.
The first lady’s chief of staff – Stephanie Grisham – predicted that Melania Trump’s speech “is going to be very positive and uplifting, which is her signature.”
“She wants to look forward. She wants to talk about what she as first lady plans to do when the president wins another 4 years. But she also wants to lay out for the American people why it’s so important the president becomes re-elected,” Grisham told Fox News’ Dana Perino on ‘The Daily Briefing.’ “There will be some personal anecdotes and I think people will be surprised at how great the speech is.”
Pompeo, who will deliver a recorded address from Israel while on a diplomatic mission, will spotlight foreign policy achievements such as the recent U.S.-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and the president’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to excerpts released by the Trump campaign, Pompeo will spotlight how the president’s “led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world” to secure peace and “keep us safe and our freedoms intact.”
But there’s been plenty of criticism that America’s top diplomat’s breaking precedent to steer clear of national political party conventions. Even if it does not violate the Hatch Act – which forbids the use of government resources for political purposes – as critics have suggested, they have also claimed it politicizes the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“Secretary Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican Convention from Jerusalem isn’t just an abuse of taxpayer dollars; it undermines the critical work being done by the State Department,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield charged on Tuesday.
“Every day America’s diplomats abroad proudly represent our country — not a political party — but Mike Pompeo’s repeated and blatant use of his office for overtly political purposes only serves to undercut their work, and it further weakens the critical alliances and global relationships that have already been so badly damaged by this administration’s recklessness.”
Paul, according to excerpts, will highlight Trump’s commitment to “end war rather than start one” and his refusal to “leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires” and “endless wars.”
Also speaking is White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, who will emphasize the president’s relief efforts to “preserve our jobs and our livelihoods” during the coronavirus. He will also stress that there is “nobody better to lead us back to the top than President Trump.”
Sandmann, who’s become a hero to many on the right, will share how his “life changed forever in that one moment.”
Sandmann recently settled after filing lawsuits against the Washington Post and CNN.
In his speech, he’ll charge that “the full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode. They did so without ever researching the full video of the incident; without ever investigating [Native American elder named Nathan Phillips’] motives; or without ever asking me for my side of the story. And do you know why? Because the truth wasn’t important.”
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.