WASHINGTON – First lady Melania Trump takes center stage as the Republican convention enters its second night on Tuesday.
Melania Trump will speak in prime time from the newly renovated White House Rose Garden, a project she supervised.
The first lady’s speech caps an evening at the GOP’s virtual convention that features the usual assortment of lawmakers and high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump.
There will also be an unusual appearance by the nation’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
President Donald Trump himself is also expected to show up during the online convention Tuesday. He plans to appear every night this week, leading up to his formal acceptance speech on Thursday night, also at the White House.
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The program is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Two other presidential family members – son Eric Trump and daughter Tiffany Trump – are also scheduled to speak at the convention.
In headlining Tuesday’s schedule, Melania Trump is likely to give a soft-edged speech designed to appeal to women voters. She is expected to discuss women’s suffrage and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“The women’s right to vote was a turning point in the history of women’s rights in the United States and stood as an example to the world,” she said in a speech marking the milestone Monday.
The Trump campaign faced a firestorm of criticism after Melania Trump’s speech to the RNC in 2016 because of passages in it that closely resembled parts of a 2008 convention speech by first lady Michelle Obama, prompting accusations of plagiarism. A Trump, Meredith McIver, later issued a statement taking responsibility for the similarities.
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Democrats and political analysts have criticized Pompeo’s planned convention speech – a rare political appearance by a sitting secretary of State.
Pompeo, who is on a Middle East trip and will address the convention from a yet-to-be disclosed location, said on his personal Twitter account that he is “looking forward to sharing with you how my family is more SAFE and more SECURE because of President Trump. See you all on Tuesday night!”
Brett Bruen, a former U.S. diplomat, said Pomeo’s appearance at a political convention violates past practice and protocol.
“You do not campaign while overseas,” Bruen tweeted. “It damages the strength of speaking as one country to our allies & adversaries.”
Lawmakers on Tuesday’s schedule include U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who helped Trump with his defense during the impeachment trial earlier this year, is also scheduled to speak.
The roster also includes supporters of the Trump presidency who have been involved in issues that are a major part of his campaign.
Abby Johnson, a former director of Planned Parenthood who is now anti-abortion activist, is among the convention speakers. So is Mary Ann Mendoza, an ‘Angel Mom’ whose son was killed in 2014 in a car collision with a migrant who was in the country illegally.
Also on Tuesday’s list: Nicholas Sandmann, a high school student who sued news outlets over reporting on his encounter with a Native American demonstrator.
How to watch
USA TODAY will stream each night of the convention and will provide live coverage and analysis as events unfold.
ABC, CBS, and NBC will air convention coverage each night beginning at 10 p.m. EDT. PBS and CNN begin their coverage at 8 p.m. MSNBC begins at 7 p.m., and live coverage on NBC News Now will stream for free on Peacock starting at 8 p.m. Fox News’ official coverage starts at 10 p.m., but hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will likely cover the RNC in the two hours before.
The official livestream of the convention will also be available on Amazon Prime, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube.