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Republican convention starts in Cleveland under tight security, Donald Trump to be formally declared presidential candidate

Cleveland: The Republican convention kicked off today amid tight security and heightened tensions following a series of shootings in the US. The party will formally coronate controversial billionaire Donald Trump as the party's presidential

India TV News Desk [ Updated: July 19, 2016 0:06 IST ]
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with Gov.
Image Source : AP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with Gov. Mike Pence

Cleveland: The Republican convention kicked off today amid tight security and heightened tensions following a series of shootings in the US. 

The party will formally coronate controversial billionaire Donald Trump as the party's presidential candidate and project his "different and new image", 

Sleuths of security forces and secret service agents have converged on the city and huge make-shift iron walls have come up several blocks around the Quicken Loans Arena where Republican National Convention is being held from July 18 to July 21. 

"This convention will come to order," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus told about 2,000 delegates as he opened a business session. 

Priebus then swiftly called for a moment of silence to recognise the officers recently killed in attacks on police in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

The Convention which started today is aimed at Americans to "get to know Donald Trump the man" rather than Trump the candidate, his top campaign aide said here yesterday. 

A "different and new image" of 70-year-old Trump, a successful businessman and a great human being, would be narrated through the personal stories of people who have known him and worked with him throughout the past several decades and along with his own family members, his campaign manager Paul Manafort said. 

Manafort said the line to speakers have been selected in such a way which so that "Americans would get to know Trump the man" and not the candidate. 

"They're going to see more of the man. I mean, they've seen him on the campaign trail, but they haven't seen him in the back, in the boardrooms. They haven't seen him up close and personal. They have a perspective of the man, but this convention is going to focus on the whole part of the personality," Manafort said. 

Trump is unlikely to address the convention which has a theme beginning with "Make America Safe Again". 

In an unconventional move, Trump will appear on the very first night of the Republican National Convention here to introduce his wife Melania who is scheduled to deliver a speech to make a strong pitch for her husband before the American public. 

Main speakers as per the list announced are Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret) Michael Flynn, Senator Joni Ernst, Jason Beardsley and Congressman Ryan Zinke. 

"A Donald Trump administration will listen to and learn from our nation's heroes who have put themselves in harm's way and pursue a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again," the Republican Convention said in a statement. 

"You're going to have his family speaking. You're going to have friends who have known him speaking. You're going to have people who have worked with him both inside the company and outside of the company. And so you're going to see how he's built his successful empire," Manafort said. 

Strongly refuting the allegations that the party is divided, Manafort said the Republican was united under Trump. 

(With PTI inputs)

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