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First night of Democratic convention to feature group of Republican speakers

The first night of the Democratic National Convention will feature several Republican speakers. 

Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman and former Rep. Susan Molinari (N.Y.) are among the speakers scheduled Monday evening as part of Democrats’ virtual programming, organizers announced. 

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, will also speak during the programming, as will former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), whom the DNC had previously announced as a speaker.

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The Republicans will appear on the first night of the convention, crossing party lines to back presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE in his bid to push President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE out of office. 

Christine Whitman has long criticized Trump, at one point last year comparing him to Adolf Hitler in a since-deleted tweet. 

Kasich has defended his decision to speak at the Democratic convention. While he openly did not support Trump in 2016, he did not go so far as to back Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE. He recently told CNN he decided to speak at the convention this year after watching Trump serve as a “divider” in office for the last 3 1/2 years. 

As Democrats look to boost Biden with the convention, Trump has events scheduled in several battleground states this week, including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona.

--This report was updated at 1:40 p.m.