July 21, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the Republican National Convention (all times EDT): 4200990fcd5b4b859dbfd1ce7b83ba41_0-small

3:55 p.m.

A GOP delegate says mega-donor Sheldon Adelson showed Wednesday night where he stood on Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement of Donald Trump. Afterward, he invited Trump into his luxury box.

Delegate Amy Tarkanian said she was in the box with Adelson and his wife, Miriam, while Cruz was speaking.

When Cruz came to the non-punchline – “vote your conscience” – Tarkanian said, “I fell back into my seat, disgusted.” She said she looked back and saw Miriam Adelson’s jaw had dropped, too.

“There were Cruz supporters who weren’t fully on board (with Trump) and now they’re 100 percent” for Trump, Tarkanian said.

The Adelsons then invited Trump into their box and indicated they were fully on board with his bid, according to Tarkanian.

3:11 p.m.

More than 60 elected officials from across the country are slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.

The list of speakers announced Thursday includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Flint, Michigan, Mayor Karen Weaver, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

More speakers were to be announced in the coming days.

Democrats are making the argument that they are uniting behind Hillary Clinton following a bruising primary against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He is among the keynote speakers at the four-day convention that begins Monday and runs through Thursday.

2:35 p.m.

Some leading Republicans are rejecting Donald Trump’s suggestion that if he becomes president, the U.S. may revisit NATO’s longstanding policy of defending its allies against possible Russian aggression. His comments in The New York Times created a new, day-long controversy hours ahead of Trump’s acceptance speech as the Republican presidential nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN that he “totally” disagrees with Trump’s suggestion that U.S. support could be conditional, adding on a Facebook Live that NATO is “the most successful military alliance in the history of the world.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said the U.S. is required under the alliance to defend its allies against possible Russian aggression. He tells The Associated Press that his “sense is that Mr. Trump was trying to place emphasis on the importance of all countries honoring their commitments.”

McConnell said on Facebook that when it comes to Trump’s NATO remarks, he was willing to “chalk it up to a rookie mistake.”

2:58 p.m.

Susan Hutchison, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, bumped into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz near an elevator shortly after he was booed off the stage Wednesday evening for his refusal to endorse Donald Trump.

Hutchison said she identified herself to the Texas senator, and then launched a blistering criticism.

“I said that I thought what he did was inexcusable and that he was a traitor to the party,” Hutchison told KUOW Radio of Seattle.

Hutchison said Cruz looked surprised, and that his wife Heidi told Hutchison she was wrong.

“I said ‘No, your husband is wrong,’” Hutchison said.

The Washington state delegation was dominated by Cruz supporters, even though Trump won the state’s GOP primary.

2:27 p.m.

There is a surprising supporting actor at the Republican National Convention: the teleprompter.

In addition to the two standard teleprompters that flank the podium at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, a larger screen is at the back of the hall is visible to many in the crowd.

That screen contributed to the wild scene Wednesday night when Sen. Ted Cruz was showered with boos when he ended his speech without endorsing GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Some delegates on the floor realized they could see what Cruz was about to say by turning to face the screen.

They got excited with Cruz went off-script near the end of his remarks: Was he about to endorse Trump? Excited for a moment that didn’t come, they booed heartily when he did not.

Trump has spent months criticizing other politicians for employing teleprompters, only to start using them himself for big speeches in recent weeks.

1:42 p.m.

Donald Trump is doing a walk-through at the Cleveland arena where he will accept the Republican Party’s nomination for President Thursday night.

Trump walked on stage at the Quicken Loans Arena and stood at the microphone for several minutes, pointing to various spots in the building.

The Republican presidential nominee briefly spoke, joking that he loved the media before then paying tribute to the host city and the Cleveland police.

He was joined by his daughter, Ivanka, who will introduce him as part of the convention’s grand finale.

Trump flashed a thumbs-up at photographers snapping away at his appearance.

The lighting in the arena changed to bathe the stage in gold, likely previewing its appearance when Trump speaks.

12:08 a.m.

Ted Cruz and Mike Pence are winning the race for most-Googled searches.

Google says that searches for the Texas senator spiked by 1,100 percent, while searches for the vice presidential candidate jumped 450 percent since the two men addressed the convention in Cleveland late Wednesday.

The most-searched question for Cruz was: “Why were people booing Ted Cruz,” after Cruz was booed off stage when he wrapped up his speech without endorsing Donald Trump for the president.

Other searches for the Texas senator included “booing” and, Cruz’s final message to voters, “vote your conscience.”

Other trending searches from the third day of the convention included, “Which Trump kid is most in charge?” and “Did Rubio endorse Trump?” a reference to Trump’s former rival, Sen. Marco Rubio, who delivered a video message but did not appear in person.

Rubio endorsed Trump in May.

12:06 p.m.

Cory Booker wouldn’t say whether he wanted to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. As a former football player, he said, “I’m happy to do what the coach wants me to do.”

But the New Jersey senator on Thursday sure sounded like he was auditioning to debate Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.

Speaking Booker said that Clinton is a religious person, but, he said, you won’t hear her preaching her religion. “You’ll see her living it,” Booker said.

Pence talks often about his religion.

Booker spoke at a Democratic press conference in Cleveland held to criticize the angry tone of the Republican convention.

11:56 a.m.

Donald Trump’s son is accusing Ted Cruz of “total disloyalty” for refusing to endorse his father’s presidential bid.

Donald Trump Jr. told CNN Thursday that he thinks Cruz has an eye on running for president in 2020 if Hillary Clinton wins the White House this year.

The Texas senator on Thursday said he refused to back Donald Trump “like a servile puppy dog” after Trump insulted Cruz’s wife and father during the GOP primary race.

Trump’s son pointed out that Cruz was going back on a pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee. He said: “My father came out on top. Ted gave his word and he broke it.”

Trump Jr. said his father “wanted to be respectful” in letting Cruz address the convention even though the elder Trump was aware Cruz would not endorse him.

11:09 a.m.

Forget what you may be hearing about booing and Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

Trump tweets that inside the hall in Cleveland, the party is “VERY united. Great love in the arena!”

Cruz was booed offstage Wednesday night after a speech in which he refused to endorse Trump for president.

The discord continued Thursday when Cruz told the Texas delegation that he would not endorse Trump in part because the billionaire had insulted his father and wife during the raucous GOP primary.

In his tweet, Trump attributed any opposition to “a small group of people who have suffered massive and embarrassing losses.”

It was the latest display of opposition to Trump’s candidacy at a convention that has featured many of them.

Many prominent GOP officials have skipped the event altogether.

10:39 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says Donald Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. might not defend some NATO allies if Russia were to attack make the world “more dangerous” and Russian President Vladimir Putin “a very happy man.”

Graham, an outspoken Trump critic, said in a statement Thursday that the Republican presidential nominee is suggesting to the Russians and “other bad actors that the United States is not fully committed to supporting the NATO alliance.”

Trump told the New York Times late Wednesday that he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday formally accepting the Republican nomination for president.

0:20 a.m.

Former House Speaker John Boehner says, “Lucifer is back.”

That comment from the Ohio Republican, reported on Twitter by his spokesman, was a reference to Ted Cruz, the Texas senator and former GOP presidential candidate who has incensed Republican delegates for speaking to the convention but refusing to endorse nominee Donald Trump.

Boehner’s remark harks back to a comment he made in April, when he told an audience at Stanford University that he considered Cruz, “Lucifer in the flesh.”

He elaborated, according to Stanford Daily, by saying he has never “worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

GOP delegates booed Cruz offstage Wednesday night when it became clear his speech to the convention would not include an endorsement of Trump. Cruz on Thursday cast his decision as deeply personal, saying he refuses to fall in line, “like a servile puppy dog.”

10:19 a.m.

Donald Trump is hitting back at Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas senator explained why he wasn’t endorsing Trump for president.

Cruz said Thursday he will not support anyone who wages personal attacks against his family. Cruz told members of the Texas delegation that he would support the candidate “I trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”

In a Tweet, Trump said Cruz “talks about the Constitution but doesn’t say that if the Dems win the Presidency, the new JUSTICES appointed will destroy us all!”

Trump was referring to the open seat on the Supreme Court left vacant after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans say it should be up to the next president to appoint a replacement. They have refused to hold a confirmation hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

Cruz has refused to rule out a run for president in 2020.

10:00 a.m.

Sen. Rob Portman says NATO is the “most important military alliance” but says Republican nominee Donald Trump is right that its members should contribute more to honor the agreement.

The Ohio Republican said Thursday that “we need to stand by our allies” but added that Trump’s “point that we would like our NATO partners to contribute more to NATO and to their own defense is absolutely accurate.”

Trump said in an interview with the New York Times that he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Portman said he has a “little disagreement” with Republican colleagues on what the U.S. contributes to Ukraine in its current conflict and acknowledged a push for a new “lead from the front.”

“That doesn’t mean we’re the world’s policemen,” Portman said. “It may mean we’re more like the world’s sheriff where you bring a posse together.”