President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans opened the first night of the RNC on Monday (August 24) promising to deliver an inspiring, positive message -- in contrast to what they characterized as a dark and gloomy Democratic convention last week.
Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered a fiery speech:
"In President Trump's America we light things up. We don't dim them down. We build things up. We don't burn them down. We kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag."
But the first night's prime-time program also featured speakers like Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., who made ominous claims about what would happen if Democrats win power in November:
"Joe Biden and the radical left are now coming for our freedom of speech."
Matt Gaetz, one of Trump's strongest backers in Congress:
"It's a horror film really."
All the while Republicans spent much of the evening defending and touting Trump's response to the global health crisis -- and pushing his "law and order" response to anti-racism protests across the country.
Multiple speakers accused Biden of wanting to defund the police, though he has so far rejected that position.
"I just want to thank the people of North Carolina..."
Trump himself spoke from Charlotte, North Carolina earlier in the day -- to reiterate his claims that Democrats would try to steal the election.
Trump has repeatedly asserted without evidence that mail-in voting due to the global health crisis would lead to fraud.
"They'll blame it on the Post Office. You can see them setting it up. Be very careful and watch it very carefully, because we have to win. This is the most important election in the history of our country."
The convention comes at a critical juncture for Trump, who currently trails Biden in national opinion polls.
But another frenetic day for the White House threatened to overshadow Trump's attempt to recalibrate his campaign at the RNC.
In Washington, congressional Democrats probed Trump appointee Louis DeJoy over whether he was deliberately sabotaging mail service to hurt mail-in voting, while one of Trump's closest advisers, Kellyanne Conway, prepared to leave the White House.