Here's What Happened:
- Ted Cruz, a leading rival to Donald Trump in the primaries, was booed off the stage during his convention speech after he didn't endorse Donald Trump.
- The moment was stunning and showed that the party has not fully unified behind the nominee. Trump, in an effort to swing the attention back to him in the moment, walked on the convention floor while Cruz was still speaking. Cruz's wife, Heidi, had to be escorted from the floor by security and the couple were later reportedly accosted as "traitors."
- Mike Pence formally accepted the vice presidential nomination, and delivered a standard speech that touted Trump's credentials and criticized Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton.
- Other notable speakers included Sen. Marco Rubio, via video, and Eric Trump. Check here for a complete list of speakers.
- Outside the convention hall, Melania Trump's speechwriter, Meredith McIver, issued a statement saying she was responsible for mistakenly plagiarizing Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech. Trump said she made a mistake and rejected her resignation.
- (Many people think McIver is not a real person. Let us spare you the drama: she is real.)
- Seventeen people were arrested outside the convention hall. One was arrested because he tried to burn an American flag — police said he was detained because his pants caught fire — and others were charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest.
- And in case you missed this: Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is starting a super PAC.
- Follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter for the latest news and check out our Facebook Messenger BuzzBot — learn more about it here.
Morning After Beeing Booed For Convention Speech, Ted Cruz Still Refuses To Endorse Trump — But Says He Won’t Vote For Hillary
The morning after being booed off stage for refusing to endorse the Republican nominee for president, Sen. Ted Cruz says he's not going to just "sit down, shut up, support the team."
Cruz spoke Thursday morning to the Texas delegation to the Republican National Convention and said he won't "throw rocks" or "criticize" Trump but that he's not ready to endorse him.
"I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," Cruz said, according to the AP.
But he made sure to clarify that just because he's not throwing his support behind the party's candidate, he is not giving his vote to Hillary Clinton.
Buckle up, folks, because a whole lot went down Wednesday night.
Trump Responds To Cruz's Speech, Calls It "No Big Deal!"
Donald Trump responded to Ted Cruz's convention speech Wednesday night after the Texas senator stopped short of endorsing Trump for president.
In a tweet, Trump said he had seen Cruz's speech before it was delivered and that he "let him speak anyway." He concluded it was "No big deal!"
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Ted Cruz Clouds Trump VP Mike Pence’s Big Convention Speech
CLEVELAND — After a rocky rollout announcement, Mike Pence didn't quite get his moment in the spotlight as the Republican's vice presidential nominee during his convention speech.
Although Pence received loud applause throughout his speech, the narrative coming out of the third evening of the convention will focus on someone else. The Indiana governor was largely overshadowed by an uproar on the convention floor at the end of a speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, who declined to endorse Donald Trump, and instead said "to those listening, please, don't stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution."
Cruz was loudly booed off the stage, as Trump walked into the arena. The presidential nominee walked out a few minutes later — immediately after his son Eric Trump's speech, and didn't return to his seat in the Trump family box to watch his running mate take the stage. —Tarini Parti
Ted Cruz Booed Off The Stage After He Doens't Endorse Trump
Ted Cruz congratulated Donald Trump for winning the Republican nomination on Wednesday night — but by the end of the night was booed off the stage when he stopped short of endorsing his former rival.
The crowd all but drowned out Cruz at the end of his speech, damaging the idea the GOP is trying to put forward that the party is unified.
Here are people booing:
Then, Trump walked out on to the convention floor, clapping and waving to his fans, seemingly to steal Cruz's thunder.
Then, Heidi Cruz, Ted's wife, had to be escorted out of the convention hall away from the angry crowd:
And then more hell broke loose:
And this happened:
Ted Cruz Implored To Endorse Trump, Teased As Boy "With Wounded Feelings"
Conservative talk radio show host Laura Ingraham goaded "boys with wounded feelings" to endorse Donald Trump on Wednesday night — an apparent dig at Senator Ted Cruz, who has held out his blessing for the Republican nominee.
"All you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos ... must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump now," said Ingraham, referring to the first GOP primary debate, when all of the candidates pledged to support whomever was nominated to lead the ticket.
Most of the candidates have since endorsed Trump, including Senator Marco Rubio. But Senator Cruz, who was scheduled to speak at the convention later in the night, still had yet to join the Trump train.
"Tonight!" implored Ingraham, triggering a burst of howls and applause in the Quicken Loans Arena. "I hope they're listening to you." —Dominic Holden
Michelle Van Etten Spoke At The Convention
"There is only one man capable of this juggling act, only one man who can handle the circus we have inherited for the past eight years and serve as the ultimate ringmaster, there is only one man who can protect the American future for many generations and that man is Donald Trump — that man is Donald Trump!" she said.
17 Arrested Outside Convention Hall
Seventeen people were arrested outside the convention Wednesday, including several who were involved in a scuffle when some protesters tried to set fire to a US flag, police officials said.
The charges were not connected to the burning of the flag, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said, but the ensuing scuffle that followed when an officer tried to put the fire out when some people were being burned.
"It's not against the law," Williams said when asked whether protesters would have been allowed to burn the flag.
In one video of protesters burning the flag, someone can be heard yelling in the background, "You're on fire, stupid!"
That's when some protesters allegedly tried to stop the officer, and other counterprotesters clashed with those who were trying to start the fire.
"All those things are arrestable in that situation," Williams said.
The charges included assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and failure to disperse, he said.
The names of the people arrested were not immediately available, but the police chief said they all appeared to be adults.
Police have arrested 22 people in the last three days, he said.
Will Mike Pence Dodge LGBT Issues At The Republican Convention?
When Indiana Gov. Mike Pence accepts the vice presidential nomination on Wednesday night, he will address a country that knows him best for promoting his state's religious freedom law, a measure widely criticized for promoting LGBT discrimination.
But it is unclear whether Pence, an evangelical Christian who is still a stranger to many voters, will actually address the issue at the Republican National Convention in an effort to woo social conservatives who supported the law but are wary of Donald Trump. (After backlash, Pence signed a "fix" bill.)
"The question is if they do something tonight to try bring those religious voters on board, and if so, what they do and whether it will be effective," Liz Mair, a Republican strategist who has worked to oppose Trump, told BuzzFeed News in an interview Wednesday. —Dominic Holden
Here’s A Handy Guide To What Ted Cruz Has Said About Donald Trump
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday evening, two months after he was vanquished in the Indiana primary and dropped out of the race.
What's still unclear is whether he will use his primetime address to formally endorse Donald Trump, his onetime friendly competitor turned bitter rival.
A possible endorsement is complicated for Cruz given his past words about the Republican nominee.
Scott Walker Just Tweeted "Please Clap" 2.0
Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, onetime presidential contender, and speaker at the Republican National Convention, would kindly like you all to chat back at him tonight, OK?
And of course people flipped out on Twitter:
Here’s How Some Trump Supporters Feel About His Adviser Calling For Clinton’s Execution
CLEVELAND — Asked about the comments, Eli, a Trump supporter from Alaska, said, "As long as it was done with due process and everything, I don't see a problem with it."
"They talked about maybe drone strikes on Edward Snowden or whatever. I can't remember who brought it up. The idea is basically the same — which is releasing secure information," he added. —Mike Hayes
Protesters Arrested After Trying To Burn American Flag
CLEVELAND — As protesters held a line of police officers back, a man unfurled an American flag and attempted to burn it before a small scuffle broke out between police and protesters. A police officer can be seen spraying what appears to be pepper spray at the demonstrators.
The flag appears to have briefly caught fire before police separated the protesters from the rest of the crowd and media. A reporter on scene with BuzzFeed News tweeted that the group arrest was small, and was "outnumbered 10 to 1 by media."
That man who burned the flag was Joey Johnson, the same man who burned a flag at the 1984 RNC in Dallas that led to the Supreme Court decision upholding that flag burning is legal. Johnson and other protesters were stopped from doing so and subsequently arrested, according to various videos from the incident and BuzzFeed News reporters on the ground.
Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who joined in the flag-burning incident, said Johnson decided to burn the flag again as "a statement against what's happening here at the Republican national convention, where an outright fascist is being nominated for president."
"This was a political statement. It was a statement about the crimes of the American empire that America was never great."
Dix says the flag flew over crimes such as slavery, the genocide of native peoples, and bombing of civilians.
"America was never great. We need a revolution, we need to overthrow the system," Dix added. "We didn't come here to fight with Trump's people or anything like that. We came with a political statement."
Dix didn't say whether more flag burnings were planned, but said the group will be back on the streets tomorrow protesting the "capitalist imperialist system."
A second flag-burning incident was foiled when the protesters didn't have a lighter.
—Paul McLeod, Jim Dalrymple II, Mike Hayes, John Stanton, and Talal Ansari
Black Republican Delegates Are Big Fans Of Omarosa
CLEVELAND — Black Republican delegates overwhelmingly support the Trump campaign putting Omarosa Manigault — the former Apprentice contestant — in charge of black outreach, despite lingering questions over her party identification and influence with black political and civil rights leaders.
There hasn't been an formal campaign announcement regarding Manigault's hiring; Manigault herself made the announcement on an appearance on MSNBC in which she defended the campaign's ability to draw in black voters.
But black delegates say Manigault is the right operative for the job because of her close relationship to Trump, taking priority over concerns she worked in the Clinton administration and isn't seen as having conventional political connections in black America.
Cruz Holds A Throwback Campaign Event — That Literally Gets Buzzed By Trump’s Plane
CLEVELAND — For the staffers and reporters at Ted Cruz's event in Cleveland on Wednesday, the moment was a strange trip back in time, to back when Cruz was in a hard-fought primary trying to consolidate support as the last non-Trump candidate.
Cruz's senior campaign staff was all in attendance — including Rick Tyler, his former communications director who was summarily fired in February after sharing an erroneous Facebook post. Cruz's colorful campaign manager Jeff Roe held court with reporters. And Heidi and Ted Cruz appeared on stage together at an outdoor bar here, the same way they did time and time again during the campaign, with Cruz giving a condensed thank-you speech that hit on many of the same themes that undergirded his message this year.
But there was a forceful reminder that the primary was, in fact, over, in the form of Donald Trump's plane, which flew into Cleveland behind Cruz just as Cruz was mentioning "the nominee."
Rudy Giuliani's Other Role In Cleveland: Fundraising Around Town For A Pro-Trump Super PAC
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is playing a key role in helping a pro-Trump super PAC raise money on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention this week.
Giuliani has been spotted moving around the city with Eric Beach, the fundraiser for Great America PAC, along with a robust security detail to meet with donors. Giuliani, who attended a BuzzFeed News party Tuesday night with an entourage, has a few personal connections to the group — former aides Brent Lowder and Jake Menges work for the super PAC, which is run by veteran GOP operative Ed Rollins.
Although he doesn't have an official role within the group, Giuliani has reportedly been helping the group with fundraising in New York as well and making the case to donors on behalf of the super PAC. The group got off to a slow start but is now making a play to become the main pro-Trump vehicle, as it competes for dollars with other efforts, including a new effort that involves former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
"[Giuliani's] doing a lot of good stuff for us," said Stuart Jolly, the super PAC's national adviser. "He's a very influential guy."
"He's a great guy to have in the room when you're asking for money."
Giuliani, who has known Trump for decades, also spoke at the convention Monday night. "Hillary Clinton's experience is the basis for her campaign," he said during his speech. "Hillary Clinton's experience is exactly the reason she should not be president of the United States. There's no next election — this is it. No more time to repeat our mistakes of the Clinton-Obama years. Washington needs a complete turnaround."
—Tarini Parti in Cleveland
Nigel Farage Says Trump’s Muslim Policy “Makes Even Me Wince”
CLEVELAND — Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage fought to limit immigration into Britain but says Donald Trump's policies go too far even for him.
"I've been called over the top once or twice, but I think some of Donald Trump's comments are pretty out there," he said at an event at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland hosted by the McClatchy Company.
Farage did offer some light praise for Trump, but criticized his promise to ban Muslim immigrants.
"He's trying to get some big messages out there, some big wedge issues, trying to reach voters who feel frustrated, perhaps a little bit scared," said Farage.
"I get what he's doing, but occasionally the style makes even me wince a little bit."
At Gays For Trump Party, The Former Fringe Celebrates Trump’s Nomination
CLEVELAND — On Tuesday night, a few minutes away from the Quicken Loans Arena, Donald Trump's nomination was cause for unadulterated celebration.
Here, some of Trump's most passionate advocates — figures often relegated to the fringe — instead headlined a "Gays for Trump" party.
"I've worked on LGBT issues with Republican nominees since 2004," said Chris Barron, one of the co-founders of the gay Republican group GOProud, who organized the event. "This is the most open campaign I have ever dealt with."
Read about the party here. —Rosie Gray
Trump Staffer Takes Blame For Melania Speech, But Resignation Is Rejected
Meredith McIver, whom the Trump campaign described as an "in-house staff writer from the Trump organization," on Wednesday took responsibility for the plagiarism scandal over Melania Trump's convention speech.
In a statement to the press, McIver, who described herself as a "longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family," said she worked with Melania Trump on the speech and mistakenly failed to remove quotes from Michelle Obama that Trump had read her as example passages she wished to emulate.
In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. 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. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family, but they rejected it. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences. I asked to put out this statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump's historic campaign for president and Melania's beautiful message and presentation. I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused. Today, more than ever, I am honored to work for such a great family. I personally admire the way Mr. Trump has handles this situation and I am grateful for his understanding.
Trump Breaks His Silence On Melania Plagiarism Scandal: "All Press Is Good Press!"
The day after he was officially nominated as the Republican party's candidate for president, Donald Trump broke his silence on the plagiarism scandal surrounding his wife's convention speech.
After her speech Monday night to the convention crowd in Cleveland, Melania Trump was widely mocked online and in political circles for lifting lines from a 2008 speech by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Trump's campaign team has mostly denied the accusations of plagiarism, instead blaming Hillary Clinton's campaign for allegedly propagating the scandal. (The plagiarism was first noted on Twitter, however, by an independent journalist not affiliated with the Clinton campaign).
In his tweets on Wednesday, Donald Trump blamed the media for focusing on the story, but maintained "all press is good press!"
Trump Vets Adviser: Clinton “Should Be Put In The Firing Line And Shot For Treason”
An adviser to Donald Trump on veterans issues said on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton should be put in a firing line and shot for treason.
New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who is also a Trump delegate from the state and has appeared with Trump at campaign events, made the comments on the Jeff Kuhner Show.
"I'm a veteran that went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I'm also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton to me is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam," he said. "She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something's wrong there."
"This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason," he added. Check here for the full story and recording.
Alt-rock band Third Eye Blind threw shade at the GOP Tuesday night during a charity concert by mocking conservative views and expressing support of LGBT rights.
The invite-only concert was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, and hosted by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The concert was to benefit Musicians on Call, a nonprofit that brings music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.
—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos
Mike Pence Defended His “Smoking Doesn’t Kill” Op-Ed In A 2000 Congressional Debate
During a 2000 congressional race debate, Mike Pence defended an op-ed he wrote arguing that "smoking doesn't kill."
Pence said there was no direct "scientific causal link medically identifying" a connection between smoking and lung cancer, according to a local newspaper report uncovered by BuzzFeed News.
"In his turn, Rock quizzed Pence about an article Pence wrote saying there is no proof cigarettes cause cancer," the Franklin, Indiana, Daily Journal wrote. "Pence said the article was taken out of context and that while there is no direct 'scientific causal link medically identifying' a link between smoking and lung cancer that was not the point of writing it."
"The trust of that article, Bob, was that we do not need a government large enough in Washington, DC, that can protect me from myself," Pence said at the debate.
Lewandowski Has Been Pitching Donors On His Own Pro-Trump Super PAC
CLEVELAND — Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been pitching his own super PAC to donors after trashing other groups working on behalf of the GOP presidential nominee, six sources with knowledge of those conversations told BuzzFeed News.
Asked for comment, Lewandowski said in an email to BuzzFeed News, "I have nothing to do with any Superpacs."
Read the exclusive story here. —Tarini Parti and Rosie Gray
Report: Trump Jr. Sounded Out Kasich For Vice President
Donald Trump's eldest son reached out to John Kasich in May, after the Ohio governor dropped out of the race to be the Republican nominee, to gauge his interest in serving in the number two spot on the Trump ticket, according to the New York Times.
In a piece on Wednesday, the newspaper reported Donald Trump Jr. spoke with a Kasich advisor to see if he was interested in being "the most powerful vice president in history."
From the Times:
When Kasich's adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father's vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
"Making America great again" was the casual reply.
Before ultimately settling on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, Trump's vice president short list included Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez, Iowa Sen. Jodi Ernst, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Many of the candidates, however, were not interested in the position, the newspaper reported.
Donald Trump Jr. has blasted the New York Times for allegedly publishing the story without speaking to him.
Astronaut Eileen Collins Takes Heat For Speaking At GOP Convention
Colonel Eileen Collins is known for firsts: the first woman to pilot a space shuttle (1995), the first woman to command one (1999), and the first astronaut to steer NASA's space shuttle through a backflip, some 250 miles above Earth (2005).
And on Wednesday night, for "Make America First" night at the Republican National Convention, Collins will celebrate the first moon landing and give a speech calling for more American wins in space.
Criticism of Collins' support for Republican candidate Donald Trump came swiftly after the announcement of her speech last week. People dismayed by Trump's past statements on women and climate science, such as former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, decried Collins lending astronaut cred to Trump, joining many others on Twitter.
Read the full story here.
Eric Trump Said He Wrote Every Single Word of His Upcoming GOP Convention Speech Himself
Eric Trump, scheduled to speak on day three of the GOP convention, said he took no help when it came to writing his own speech.
"I took immense pride. I wrote every single word of my speech myself," Trump said on Good Morning America Wednesday. "Sometimes when you write from the heart — and I'll certainly deliver it from the heart — the product will be what it'll be, but it'll be certainly sincere and full of emotion."
The 32-year-old said his speech will "focus on the why."
"Why is my father doing it? Why does he care this much? Why now?"
Trump said his father did not need to run for president, as he was at the "apex of his career" and "could live a beautiful, cushy life, play golf all the time, run a nice business, and sit back."
"My father cares deeply about this country," Trump said. "This country has given him everything."
The Quiet, Uneventful, Somewhat Tearful Nomination Of Donald Trump
CLEVELAND — The final — no, really — floor challenge to Donald Trump's nomination went down with barely a whimper on Tuesday night.
But this was not a happy arena nominating a consensus choice. The divisions tearing the party apart were obvious even as Trump's nomination vote proceeded, and some anti-Trump delegates worked up until the last minute to at least throw a wrench into a process that the RNC wanted to go according to plan. Delegates from Washington, DC, and Alaska made an effort to make their votes for candidates other than Trump count, but failed in the process.
There were boos and even some crying from the floor. "We may be small in number but our votes matter," said Kristie Babcock, a Trump delegate from Alaska who wanted votes for other candidates to also count.
"Every vote has to count," she insisted with tears in her eyes.
Read the full story here.
–Rosie Gray and Tarini Parti
Here’s How The Internet Reacted To Night Two Of The GOP Convention