Donald Trump accuses Democrats of 'using COVID to steal an election' claiming mail-in ballots will 'defraud the American people of a fair and free election' as he accepts Republican nomination at surprise convention speech

Donald Trump said Monday that Democrats will try to steal the election in November by avoiding sending or accepting mail-in ballots from Republicans as he made a surprise visit to his party’s convention as they nominated him to be their presidential candidate. 
'They're trying to steal the election from the Republicans, that's what it means,' Trump said during his remarks Monday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
'In a very nice way, I will tell you, they are trying to steal the election just like they did it last time with spying and we caught them.' 
'And that included President Obama and that included Biden,' he continued as he referred to the 2016 campaign as 'Spygate.'
The president claimed that Democrats will harvest ballots and stop those coming from Trump voters from being processed as he denounced universal mail-in voting as a 'fraud.'
'You get the ballot and then they have harvesting,' Trump claimed.
He also reenacted a conversation between two voters where one only agreed to turn in the other's ballot after finding out that they cast their vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
'In fact, harvesting is illegal in your state,' Trump continued of North Carolina. 'They wanted to put a Republican, fine man, a pastor, they wanted to put him in jail because he harvested. Now they want to make harvesting legal all of a sudden.'
Trump: Mail-in voting will be greatest scam in history of politics
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Donald Trump claimed Monday that Democrats will attempt to 'steal the election' in November by harvesting ballots and stopping those cast for him form being turned in. He walked on stage to cheers at his surprise arrival
Donald Trump claimed Monday that Democrats will attempt to 'steal the election' in November by harvesting ballots and stopping those cast for him form being turned in. He walked on stage to cheers at his surprise arrival
The comments came as Trump made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention Monday afternoon to make remarks before a room of delegates and party personnel
The comments came as Trump made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention Monday afternoon to make remarks before a room of delegates and party personnel
On the sidelines: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, left, Debbie Meadows, center, and Ivanka Trump were at the side of the stage as Trump spoke
On the sidelines: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, left, Debbie Meadows, center, and Ivanka Trump were at the side of the stage as Trump spoke
Socially-distanced convention: The small number of delegates are being spaced out for the event, with an attempt to make it look more like a traditional convention but without large numbers of people crammed onto the floor
Socially-distanced convention: The small number of delegates are being spaced out for the event, with an attempt to make it look more like a traditional convention but without large numbers of people crammed onto the floor
'They're trying to steal the election from the Republicans,' Trump said as he lamented in-person voting was completed during both World Wars - earning a standing ovation at the end of his speech
'They're trying to steal the election from the Republicans,' Trump said as he lamented in-person voting was completed during both World Wars - earning a standing ovation at the end of his speech
'They'll put him in jail as a Republican, right? If he was a Democrat they wouldn't be thinking about it,' he insisted. 'In California they do the same thing. No repercussion.'
The president made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday afternoon as delegates announced their states' count to officially nominate Trump to become the party's candidate in November.
During his remarks he called mail-in voting the 'greatest scam in the history of politics' even beyond the U.S.
'We're not patriotic by saying this. No,' Trump said of Democrats pushing for universal mail-in voting for the November election.
'We voted during World War I. We voted at the voting booth during World War II,' the president told a room full of delegates and RNC personnel.
'The pandemic – we're doing very well, and people know how to handle it,' he continued. 'Look at the crowds. They're doing very well. It's very safe. it's going to be very safe.'
Coming out onto the stage to his rally anthem 'God Bless the USA,' Trump was greeted by delegates at the scaled-down convention with chants of 'four more years.'
'We have to win. This is the most important election in the history of our country,' Trump said to cheers from a smaller-than-usual crowd.
'Don't let them take it away from you,' Trump urged the end of his nearly hour-long remarks. 'Don't let them take it away. North Carolina, we love you. That's why I'm here… very special people.'
The surprise remarks came right after delegates completed the roll call nominating Trump to become the Republican nominee for the presidential race in November
The surprise remarks came right after delegates completed the roll call nominating Trump to become the Republican nominee for the presidential race in November
Trump accepts Republican Party presidential nomination
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Impassioned speech: Trump spoke for almost an hour largely without using the teleprompter as he accepted the party nomination in a surprise appearance
Impassioned speech: Trump spoke for almost an hour largely without using the teleprompter as he accepted the party nomination in a surprise appearance
Impassioned speech: Trump spoke for almost an hour largely without using the teleprompter as he accepted the party nomination in a surprise appearance
Branding: Trump delivered the speech in front of the 2020 Republican National Convention logo
Branding: Trump delivered the speech in front of the 2020 Republican National Convention logo
Enthusiastic reception: Trump got a standing ovation from the limited number of delegates who actually attended the event, which was bastly scaled back from the around 20,000 conventioneers who were initially supposed to attend
Enthusiastic reception: Trump got a standing ovation from the limited number of delegates who actually attended the event, which was bastly scaled back from the around 20,000 conventioneers who were initially supposed to attend
With the running mate: Mike Pence joined Donald Trump on stage during the president's unexpected appearance
With the running mate: Mike Pence joined Donald Trump on stage during the president's unexpected appearance
Trump also reiterated that even though he is opposed to states going fully toward mail-in voting, he is a proponent of absentee voting – which he has used to cast his ballot in the past few elections.
'If you have an absentee ballot where you request it, we're all in favor of that,' Trump told the enthusiastic room of Republicans.
'Absentee, like in Florida, they have absentee is good,' he said of the state where he recently changed his residency. 'But other than that, they're very, very bad. There will be millions of ballots.'
'But these are small and they can't control it,' he said of absentee measures.
He also railed against potential defects with ballots, insisting that nearly one-fourth would be 'fraudulent.'
'They said 23 per cent of the ballots were defective. What does defective mean? it means fraud,' Trump said.
'It means – it means a lot of things that we won't get into because I don't want to be accused – you see all the cameras back there. It's the fake news. I don't want to be accused of anything,' he said pointing to the back of the room in typical rally fashion.
Delegates officially nominated Trump to be their candidate in November during the roll call Monday morning, which was held in-person in Charlotte and contrasted with Democrats' virtual roll call last week to nominate Joe Biden as their candidate.
Trump interrupted the roll call by showing up for previously unscheduled remarks, which continued with Tennessee following his hour-long speech.
The president plans to speak during the 10:00 p.m. hour all four nights of the convention – and added bonus remarks at the original convention site Monday afternoon in North Carolina.  
The president said he felt 'obligated' to make a visit to the location of the convention after their Governor Roy Cooper barred the RNC from having the usual massive crowd at its events
The president said he felt 'obligated' to make a visit to the location of the convention after their Governor Roy Cooper barred the RNC from having the usual massive crowd at its events
Trump is also preparing to speak during the 10:00 p.m. hour of the convention all four nights
Trump is also preparing to speak during the 10:00 p.m. hour of the convention all four nights 
Masked conventioneers: North Carolina has asked those attending to obey health measures by covering up and social distancing
Masked conventioneers: North Carolina has asked those attending to obey health measures by covering up and social distancing
Here for the president: Trump greeted supporters as he walked off stage and to his limousine after the speech
Here for the president: Trump greeted supporters as he walked off stage and to his limousine after the speech
Accepting his nomination: Vice President Mike Pence was at the convention in Charlotte for his own speech
Accepting his nomination: Vice President Mike Pence was at the convention in Charlotte for his own speech 
During his remarks Monday, Trump lashed out against North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, claiming he felt an 'obligation' to speak in Charlotte after he was forced to move other events to different locations.
'I just want to thank the people of North Carolina because to be honest with you I felt an obligation to be here. You have a governor who's in a total shutdown mood. I guarantee on November 4, it'll all open up. It'll be fine, like most other states,' Trump said of Cooper, who restricted the convention crowd size, making it so only the delegates were able to convene for the events. 
'On November 4 – you know these Democrat governors, they love a shutdown until after the election is over because they want to make our numbers look as bas as possible for the economy,' he lamented.
At the start of the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs – setting all-time high unemployment numbers.
While several events are still being held at the location in Charlotte, the convention is not allowing the usual massive crowd as it has been partially moved to other locations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.   
The nomination came as Trump's campaign unveiled earlier in the day its 49-point plan for his second term, including a 'return to normal' by next year. 
The plan also focuses on creating 10 million new in 10 months jobs, including bringing 1 million manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from China.
It also has a whole section dedicated to 'eradicating COVID-19,' which includes a 'return to normal by 2021,' 'developing a vaccine by the end of 2020' and 'holding China fully accountable for allowing the virus to spread around the world.'
The other points of the plan features sections on healthcare, education, 'draining the swamp,' defending police, ending illegal immigration and protecting Americans workers, innovating for the future and his promised 'America First' stance on foreign policy.  
The Party is conducting a more business-as-usual convention with many events taking place at the convention site in Charlotte, North Carolina – including the roll call on Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the convention Monday
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the convention Monday
Other than backing Trump, the Republican National Committee has not agreed on any other platform for the 2020 convention as the president is prepared to focus on the accomplishments of his first term rather than presenting plans for a second.
In a new resolution adopted Saturday from the previous 2016 platform, the RNC made six declarations and resolved four issues – but otherwise kept the four-year-old platform the same.
'RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda,' the RNC listed.
In a second point it said '[t]hat the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.'
'Under the emergency procedures set forth under rule 37(e), we will not be adopting an updated version of the rules of the Republican Party until the next convention in 2024,' Jeff Kent delegate from Washington state said during the first day of the convention Monday morning.  
Delegates arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina ¿ the original location of the convention ¿ over the weekend as many speakers prepare to make their remarks remotely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
Delegates arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina – the original location of the convention – over the weekend as many speakers prepare to make their remarks remotely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
While the RNC will not be fully virtual like the Democratic Convention was last week, the in-person events are severely scaled down
While the RNC will not be fully virtual like the Democratic Convention was last week, the in-person events are severely scaled down 
The RNC released a resolution on its 2020 platform that said it will not adopt a new platform from 2016 until 2024, but did reaffirm it will 'enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda'
The RNC released a resolution on its 2020 platform that said it will not adopt a new platform from 2016 until 2024, but did reaffirm it will 'enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda'

One of Trump's unofficial 2020 slogans is, 'Promises Made, Promises Kept,' which will be on full display all four nights of the convention. 
'The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today; therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda,' the RNC 2020 resolution reads.
The quadrennial event this year will also, in part, be put on by two producers who worked on 'The Apprentice,' the show where businessman Trump rose to reality television stardom.
Sadoux Kim is a longtime deputy to the show's creator and is a lead consultant on the production of the convention. He served as a Miss Universe judge in the past when Trump owned the pageant.
Chuck LaBella, a former NBC entertainment executive, is also on the RNC payroll. He helped produce 'The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump.'
The convention this year will feature more logistical challenges as several speakers will join from remote locations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – similar to the Democratic convention last week.
The speaker line-up, which was released this weekend, is full of staunch Trump allies, both on and off Capitol Hill.
Traditionally, the party's nominee only delivers remarks one night of the four-night nominating convention.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden did make appearances each night of his nominating events last week, but only made a keynote address on the final night on Thursday.
The Republican Convention has been partially planned and will be put on by two producers Sadoux Kim (left) and Chuck LaBella (right) who worked on 'The Apprentice,' the show where Trump rose to reality television stardom 
Initially Trump all the events were scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Once the state's Governor Roy Cooper decided large gathers would not be permitted in the midst of the pandemic, Trump moved his speech – and most of the marquee events – to Jacksonville, Florida where, at the time, lockdown orders were less restrictive.
As the Sunshine State went back into lockdown after experiencing a spike over the summer, Trump was forced to rethink his plans again.
The president will make his acceptance speech from the White House on Thursday and several other events and remarks during the convention will take place in federal grounds and buildings.
The president's top campaign aides have spent the last few weeks scrambling to come up with a platform for the next four years as the makeup of the convention changed yet again.
Senior administration officials have admitted that they are learning toward pledging Trump will continue working toward hallmarks of his first term instead of presenting entirely new ideas in order for the president to appeal to his base and respond to criticism from his own party.
Donald Trump accuses Democrats of 'using COVID to steal an election' claiming mail-in ballots will 'defraud the American people of a fair and free election' as he accepts Republican nomination at surprise convention speech Donald Trump accuses Democrats of 'using COVID to steal an election' claiming mail-in ballots will 'defraud the American people of a fair and free election' as he accepts Republican nomination at surprise convention speech Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:41 Rating: 5

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