US election

The dream script for Democrats in Philadelphia tonight would have Hillary Clinton closing out their convention with a rousing crescendo. But can she manage it as she accepts the party nomination?

Democrats have already savoured speeches from their party’s most talented orators – Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden – who set a high bar. Clinton is not a natural speechmaker and John Podesta, her campaign chair, predicted to the New York Times: “Maybe she doesn’t hit those soaring notes.” Read more

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Donald Trump is renowned for knowing how to dominate a news cycle, but did he really intend to dominate today’s? As the delegates at the Democratic convention cool down from the blistering Philadelphia heat outside, ahead of speeches tonight from Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and others, Trump has garnered a big chunk of attention for himself with his latest Russian turn.

In a press conference, he urged Moscow to track down and hand over tens of thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server which have yet to be released. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said.

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Discord at the Democratic Convention

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia got off to a turbulent start this week, revealing deep divisions between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The FT’s World News editor Ben Hall discusses what this means for Clinton’s campaign for the White House with Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo and Gideon Rachmann, the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator.

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Boring? That’s what many predicted the Democratic convention would be after last week’s Republican drama in Cleveland. How wrong they were. Instead, the Democrats are off to a raucous, rollicking start that is giving party chiefs reason to bury their heads in their hands.

Just a couple of hours into the Philadelphia convention, the party unity that Democratic leaders want to cement by the end of this week appears thin on the ground. Read more

By Federica Cocco

Analysts are cranking up the odds of a Donald Trump presidency, with researchers at Citigroup saying the possibility “cannot be ruled out” and the statistics site FiveThirtyEight rating the odds of the Republican candidate at 40 per cent. Read more

Pay-Pal co-founder Peter Thiel has broken ranks with his Silicon Valley rivals giving a rousing speech to the Republican National Convention telling delegates that only Donald Trump is being honest about US economic decline.

In a speech on Thursday night shortly before Mr Trump took the floor Mr Thiel said: “Our economy is broken. If you’re watching me right now you understand this better than any politician in Washington DC.” Read more

RNC in Cleveland 2016

The Republican National Convention culminates with a pugnacious acceptance speech from Donald Trump with a promise of keeping the country safe and its citizens better off, with an attack on the ‘rigged’ system and White House rival Hillary Clinton. This blog brings the reaction from the FT team in the arena in Cleveland, and beyond. 

It must be hard being Ted Cruz. Just when you assume there could not be more people who dislike you, your own support base turns on you. The Texas senator’s decision not to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican candidate on Wednesday evening highlighted the divisions that have been simmering in Cleveland. Mr Cruz has the dubious honour of being the first person to be jeered at this convention — after Hillary Clinton, of course — and his wife, Heidi, had to be escorted from the arena.

Depending on your perspective, Cruz’s address was petulant or noble — given the personal attacks he has endured from Trump. He attempted to address those concerns head-on with the Texas GOP delegation on Wednesday morning, explaining he was not a “servile puppy dog” to Trump. But there were plenty of detractors present. (Read our report on Cruz’s clash with his own supporters here — and watch this video of Texans opining on what he has done.) Read more

Donald Trump has been a winner in Cleveland this week. But he has been a loser in Las Vegas.

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas – co-owned by the Republican nominee and his Sin City friend Phil Ruffin – has agreed to pay $11,200 in lost wages to settle a complaint filed on behalf of two pro-union workers. Read more

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian party presidential candidate, is in Cleveland this week, telling people he can beat Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to be the next US president.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the former Republican governor of New Mexico said he has had a good reception at the Republican National Convention. Read more

Outside the perimeter of the Republican National Convention, protesters have beenmaking the case against Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico. Inside the convention, Marco Gutierrez, a 42 year-old Mexican-American mortgage broker, has found himself preaching a more unusual message: “Latinos for Trump”.

“He’s got life experience, knowledge and an ability to restore the economy. I’ve seen a lot of Latinos lose their savings. Donald Trump brings hope to businesses,” Mr Gutierrez said in an interview. Read more

On the eve of his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Donald Trump has rattled allies in Europe and Asia with an extensive interview about his foreign policy worldview with the New York Times. Here are the most striking passages from the transcript:

1) The US and Nato Most of the attention has focused on Trump’s views on whether the US would defend a Nato ally under attack from Russia: Read more

When is plagiarism not plagiarism? The saga over Melania Trump’s convention speech took another turn today with a letter released by Donald Trump’s campaign. Someone called Meredith McIver, who described herself as “an in-house staff writer from the Trump Organization” and a “longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family”, said she had written portions of Mrs Trump’s Monday evening address. Read more

When is plagiarism not plagiarism? The saga over Melania Trump’s convention speech took another turn today with a letter released by Donald Trump’s campaign. Someone called Meredith McIver, who described herself as “an in-house staff writer from the Trump Organization” and a “longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family”, said she had written portions of Mrs Trump’s Monday evening address.

Ms McIver attempted to explain the similarities with a Michelle Obama speech in 2008: “Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs Obama’s speeches.” Read more

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As White House Countdown goes to press, the delegates on the convention floor are conducting the vote to formally anoint Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee who will face Hillary Clinton in the November election.

Earlier, Melania Trump was the main topic of conversation at the convention following accusations that she plagiarised part of her Monday speech from an address that Michelle Obama gave at the Democratic convention in 2008. The Trump campaign struggled to explain what had happened, and the knives came out. Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said that Paul Manafort, the man who ousted him, should be fired if he signed off on the speech. Here is our profile of Mrs Trump and our piece on how the Trump show has been full of the wrong dramaRead more

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Republican delegates and party members from across America have poured into Cleveland for the Grand Old Party convention which – unless something unexpected happens – will crown Donald Trump as the party nominee, formally starting what will undoubtedly be an incredibly ugly White House race. Read more

Donald Trump has postponed the highly anticipated unveiling of his vice-presidential running mate, which was expected on Friday in New York, following the horrific attack in Nice that has claimed the lives of more than 70 people. Read more

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Donald Trump, his children and his campaign entourage huddled in Indiana on Wednesday as the tycoon played host of The Apprentice for one more crucial hiring decision before the Republican convention opens on Monday in Cleveland.

Over the past week, Trump has been road-testing possible VPs: Indiana governor Mike Pence, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. I attended a rally in Westfield, Indiana last night where Trump teased the crowd about Pence after the socially conservative governor introduced the candidate with a speech attacking Hillary Clinton and lauding Trump that was clearly an on-the-job interview.

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Five minutes. That’s how long it took before Bernie Sanders said that he was endorsing Hillary Clinton in his speech at a rally today in New Hampshire.

For a while there – as he ran through his campaign’s accomplishments, from its 2.5m small individual contributions to its 22 state victories to its 1,900 delegates – it almost looked like he wasn’t going to do it. When he mentioned that “Secretary Clinton goes into the convention with 389 more pledged delegates than we have and a lot more super delegates,” (emphasis mine), it was hard not to read it as something of a dig at Clinton. Barney Jopson has the full rundown of the rally.

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Throughout the campaign Donald Trump has appropriated campaign slogans and themes from the past, some more controversial than others.

The former reality TV star has talked about the “silent majority” supporting him, a phrase borrowed from President Richard Nixon which referred to those who didn’t take to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War. “America First”, which Trump has said will be “the major and overriding theme of my administration”, shares its name with an isolationist, anti-Semitic organisation that urged the US to stay out of the second world war. Read more