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Trump family members will make up half of Republican National Convention key Speakers

By Steve Mollman, Newsweek, 8/23/20

Half of the key speakers scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention have the last name Trump, according to a Fox News graphic that aired Saturday.

The event, which starts Monday and runs through Thursday, will feature appearances by US President Donald Trump each night, according to NPR. His acceptance speech will come Thursday.

But he won’t be the only Trump in the spotlight. Other main speakers include first lady Melania Trump along with the president’s children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump.

The other main speakers listed in the graphic include Vice President Mike Pence; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley; South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem; Iowa Senator Joni Ernst; and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

While schedule changes may occur, the lineup aired on Fox News produced a wave of criticism on social media, with many noting the number of Trumps and absence of other possible speakers.

Some critics on social media also focused on Scott being the only Black speaker in the lineup according to the Fox News graphic. Based on that, he and Haley are the only two persons of color scheduled to address the event as key speakers.

The Democratic National Convention, which wrapped up Thursday last week and saw former Vice President Joe Biden officially nominated, featured a racially diverse lineup of speakers—among them Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, California senator and Biden running mate Kamala Harris, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, one of many prominent Republicans who have crossed party lines to back Biden and denounce Trump.

Trump is not the first candidate to feature his relatives as speakers at a convention. Four years ago Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did the same with daughter Chelsea and husband and former president Bill Clinton.

According to NPR, the convention will also feature speeches by the parents of Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker killed by ISIS; Alice Johnson, who was serving life in prison until Trump commuted her sentence; and Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who brandished their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home in St. Louis.

The convention will be largely virtual because of coronavirus concerns. Earlier plans called for it to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, but the state’s governor raised concerns about safety protocols related to the pandemic. A switch to Jacksonville, Florida, was later nixed after a spike of coronavirus cases in Florida.

Newsweek reached out to the Republican National Convention for comment and confirmation of the key speakers, but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.

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