The Slatest

The Trump Show: President Will Speak Every Night of Republican National Convention

President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at The Defense Contractor Complex on August 18, 2020 in Yuma, Arizona.
President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at The Defense Contractor Complex on August 18, 2020 in Yuma, Arizona. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Traditionally, the party’s nominee for president only speaks during the final night of his or her party’s convention. In the past, some candidates have made an exception and appeared on the day before their acceptance speech. But President Donald Trump is breaking with that tradition and will be speaking every night of the Republican National Convention at 10 p.m. Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said on NBC’s Meet the Press, that Trump will be “speaking at various parts for each of the nights” but he did not specify whether that meant it would be live speeches or pre-recorded segments.

Although the convention begins Monday, much of how the event will unfold remains a mystery and Republican officials were still trying to decide key matters such as which segments would be aired live and what would be taped in advance. Even some delegates say they aren’t sure what will be happening this upcoming week. Trump has publicly criticized Democrats for having too many pre-taped segments in their convention. “We’re going to have more of it live than what they did,” Trump said on Thursday. “I think it’s pretty boring when you do tapes.” How they will achieve that remains unknown.

Two producers of the Apprentice are helping the planning of the convention that by all accounts has been particularly rushed in the past few weeks. Trump once planned on accepting the nomination in front of a huge crowd of supporters in North Carolina. But those plans were scrapped because of the coronavirus. For a brief moment it looked like Trump would give his acceptance speech in Florida. But those plans were also canceled because of the pandemic. All those last minute changes led to a mad scramble to plan a four-day convention in the span of four weeks when it usually takes at least a year. The planners had one goal in mind: “To make it a gripping TV show,” notes Politico.

The job of the organizers was made even more difficult by Trump, who became obsessed with tiny specifics of the event, including how long each speaker would have. Trump will reportedly make an appearance at the convention site in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday when he will be officially nominated but will be formally accepting the nomination Thursday night from the White House, which will include fireworks above the South Lawn. Vice President Mike Pence will speak from Fort McHenry in Maryland.

Even before it starts, the convention is already under question by ethics experts who say that the use of sites controlled by the federal government violates a law that bans using public spaces for partisan activities. Some of Trump’s advisers insist that the parts of the White House that are being used are technically part of the residence but others “privately scoff at the Hatch Act and say they take pride in violating its regulations,” notes the New York Times.