The Hill's Convention Report: GOP convention heads into second night | How Night One was received | NRCC chair predicts GOP will flip the House

The Hill's Convention Report: GOP convention heads into second night | How Night One was received | NRCC chair predicts GOP will flip the House
© Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Welcome to The Hill’s Convention Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the convention front. 

LEADING THE DAY: 

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Republicans are gearing up for Night Two of the Republican National Convention with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE’s family stepping into the spotlight after the gathering kicked-off with dark warnings about what the U.S. would look like under Democratic control from Monday night’s speakers. 

Here’s who’s on tap for this evening: 

The first night of programming got mixed reviews from GOP lawmakers, who argued the tone was too dark and lacked policy focus. 

Tonight’s speakers could home in on more personal ways to make the case for reelecting Trump. 

Melania, Eric and Tiffany Trump have the opportunity to showcase a more intimate side of the president, one that is more paternal and personal. A number of tonight’s speakers are also women, a sign the party is looking to reverse Trump’s poor poll numbers of with women voters — in particular, white, suburban women. 

But it’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech that is falling under the most scrutiny in the lead-up to tonight’s program. 

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Pompeo will be giving his address from Jerusalem, where he traveled to as part of a diplomatic trip, prompting Democrats and critics to say he’s using an official trip to make a political statement. 

A House Democrat announced Tuesday that he is launching an investigation, raising concerns that the move is an illegal violation of the Hatch Act and a breach of State Department regulations. Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroPompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election Florida Democrat asks FBI to investigate anti-Semitic, racist disinformation Hispanic Caucus members embark on 'virtual bus tour' with Biden campaign MORE (D-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs panel's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, raised his concerns in a letter to Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.

Critics have also accused Pompeo of exploiting the city, which is central to three of the world’s largest faiths, for political gain. 

"Secretary Pompeo's decision to address the Republican Convention from Jerusalem isn't just an abuse of taxpayer dollars, it undermines the critical work being done by the State Department,” said Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager and communications director for Biden’s campaign.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit MORE is also hitting Pompeo, calling the move “appalling."

“We have not seen this by anyone, as you have said, as records show, Democratic or Republican, who would have the secretary of state engaged, and, as the secretary himself cautioned employees at the State Department, that they should not be engaged in any partisan activities, because they work for the State Department,” Pelosi told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. 

The State Department said Pompeo was delivering remarks in his personal capacity and that no department resources would be used in the process.

The Hill’s Laura Kelly has more on Pompeo’s upcoming address. 

 

Republicans weigh in on Night One: GOP lawmakers and strategists are hoping to see more substance at the convention on Tuesday night, arguing that Trump and his allies need to lay out a more cohesive vision for a second term in office rather. 

“The lack of a clear platform is disconcerting,” one GOP lawmaker told The Hill’s Scott Wong and Juliegrace Brufke. “What do Republicans stand for and believe — not just DJT!”

The first night of the convention wasn’t all bad, some Republicans said, pointing to speeches from former United Nations Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) Haley'The soul' versus 'law and order' Author Ryan Girdusky: RNC worked best when highlighting 'regular people' as opposed to 'standard Republicans' GOP lobbyists pleasantly surprised by Republican convention MORE and Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottAuthor Ryan Girdusky: RNC worked best when highlighting 'regular people' as opposed to 'standard Republicans' Now is the time to renew our focus on students and their futures GOP lobbyists pleasantly surprised by Republican convention MORE (R-S.C.), which took a more conciliatory tone and sought to highlight diversity within the party. But there’s still a general sense that Trump needs to expand his base and simply stoking the grievances of his most loyal supporters won’t cut it.

“We've seen that the Trump base has been largely at 42, 44 percent of approval ratings for the president; he hasn't moved. So he needs to reach in to that a little bit,” said Ron Bonjean, a former veteran spokesperson on Capitol Hill. “There needs to be a little bit more there for President Trump to bring it across the finish line.”

“And by contrasting Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE as somebody that is, you know, that is part of the failed, tired policies that have not solved their country's problems,” he added, “I think it's gonna go a long way.”

Scott and Juliegrace have more on how the first night of the convention was received by Republicans here.

RATINGS: 

The first night of the GOP convention drew 15.9 million viewers, fewer than the 18.7 million who tuned in for the first night of the Democratic convention. 

RACE FOR THE HOUSE:

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Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerHouse Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts The Hill's Convention Report: Trump to attack Biden at final night of convention | Speech comes amid hurricane, racial justice protests | Biden accuses Trump of 'rooting' for violence Republicans cast Trump as best choice for women MORE (R-Minn.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told The Hill’s Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden asks if public can trust vaccine from Trump ahead of Election Day | Oklahoma health officials raised red flags before Trump rally Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Big 10 votes to resume football season MORE on Tuesday that the GOP will take back the House in November, despite polls and political handicappers suggesting the House majority will remain safely in Democratic hands.

Emmer said Democrats are going to lose because they have “failed to keep the promises they made to votes in 2018” when they won the House majority.

“They’ve done none of the things that they promised to do — this time, rather than just run on a resume, run on a biography, they have to run on their record,” Emmer said. “That record is not good and they are going to lose their majority because of it.”

Elsewhere, The Hill’s Jonathan Easley went to Trump International Hotel to interview Donald Trump Jr., who is putting his political muscle behind an effort to elect the next generation of anti-establishment conservatives. Trump Jr. believes his father needs “new blood” in the House willing to defend him from Democratic attacks and take on the news media. Read about the candidates he’s backing HERE.

CONDEMNING QANON

Two lawmakers are asking Congress to formally condemn the QAnon conspiracy at a time when several GOP congressional candidates have voiced support for the theory. 

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The resolution from Reps. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanVirginians wait up to four hours to cast early voting ballots Five things we learned from this year's primaries The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - First lady casts Trump as fighter for the 'forgotten' MORE (R-Va.) and Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - First lady casts Trump as fighter for the 'forgotten' Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers introduce resolution condemning QAnon | US Cyber Command leader vows to 'defend forward' in protecting nation from cyberattacks MORE (D-N.J.) outlines several examples of criminal activity and violence tied to supporters of the conspiracy theory, which holds that Trump is working to expose a cabal of elites who control U.S. politics and run child trafficking rings. The FBI has already identified the QAnon community as a potential domestic terrorist threat.

While several GOP lawmakers have already come out against QAnon — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Graham vows GOP will accept election results after Trump comments Liz Cheney promises peaceful transfer of power: 'Fundamental to the survival of our Republic' MORE (D-Wyo.) — the conspiracy theory has been boosted by a few Republican congressional candidates, mostly notably Marjorie Taylor Green, who’s running to represent Georgia’s 14th District and is virtually guaranteed to win the seat in November.

The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke and Chris Mills Rodrigo have more on the resolution here