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

11:55 p.m.

The Republican convention’s closing balloon drop didn’t disappoint.

Soon after Donald Trump made one last promise to “make America great again,” a slow-moving, confetti-and-balloon blizzard floated down on the convention hall in Cleveland.

More than 125,000 balloons — some as big as beach balls — floated down on the dancing delegates.

The soundtrack for the spectacle was the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” — perhaps a strange choice.

Outside, fireworks illuminated the sky over Lake Erie.


11:50 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman says Donald Trump used “more fear, more division, more anger, more hate” in his speech to the Republican National Convention.

John Podesta says in a statement that next week’s Democratic National Convention will offer a more positive vision.

Podesta says Trump is “temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be president.”

He says the Republican nominee isn’t offering any “real solutions” but rather “more prejudice and paranoia.”

Podesta says “America is better than Donald Trump.”


11:25 p.m.

Donald Trump is reminding voters that the balance of power on the Supreme Court will be decided by the November election.

The Republican presidential nominee says in his convention speech that he wants judge who would uphold the Constitution.

Many Republicans who are reluctant Trump supporters have pointed to his ability to ensure that the high court has a conservative majority.

There’s a current 4-4 ideological split, with one vacancy.


11:20 p.m.

Donald Trump’s attempt to reach out to evangelicals hasn’t always been smooth, but on Thursday night it was loud and clear during his convention speech.

Trump took a moment to thank evangelicals for their support, even though, as he out it, “I’m not sure I totally deserve it.”

Trump touched on an issue that’s become a priority for religious conservatives. He’s pledging to repeal a law that some believe prevents religious groups from engaging in politics.


11:15 p.m.

Donald Trump says he’ll turn what he believes are bad trade deals into great ones for the United States. And he says he’ll never sign a trade agreement that hurts workers or diminishes freedom.

The Republican presidential nominee also says he won’t let U.S. companies relocate to other countries — laying off workers in the process – “without consequences.”

Trump says he’ll negotiate deals with individual countries, rather than complex agreements involving many nations.

He’s taking aim at President Barack Obama for basing his trade policy on negotiating multinational agreements in Asia and Europe.

Trump is breaking sharply with his party on trade. The GOP in the past has supported free trade agreements.


11:10 p.m.

Donald Trump says that if he’s in the White House, he’ll protect gays and lesbians from violence.

It’s an overture to a group that doesn’t often get mentioned during a speech at the Republican National Convention.

Trump is bemoaning the attack in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. He says the shooter was an “Islamic terrorist” who was driven by a “hateful foreign ideology.”

Trump says he’s going to prevent such attacks against the LGBTQ community. Trump’s use of the phrase is notable for including the ‘Q,’ which stands for queer or questioning and is less common.


11:05 p.m.

Donald Trump says his immigration plan is based on compassion.

Trump says his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border is a way of taking a hard line on immigration laws — and he says that approach is “considerate and compassionate to everyone.”

Trump’s immigration proposal is a driving force in his presidential campaign. But it’s alienated many Hispanic voters and has been called unworkable even some in the GOP.

Trump says his tough approach will stop the cycle of human smuggling and “peace will be restored by enforcing the rules.”


11:03 p.m.

Donald Trump is backtracking from his criticism of NATO.

He says the alliance has taken a step in the “right direction” in deciding to focus more on terrorism.

The Republican presidential nominee made the comments during his convention address.

A day earlier, he said in a New York Times interview that he might not come to the defense of NATO nations that failed to meet their financial obligations.


11 p.m.

Donald Trump is outlining his approach to fighting terrorism.

He says he’ll create the “best intelligence gathering operation in the world.”

The GOP presidential nominee says he’ll also abandon what he calls the “nation building” and “regime change” policies pushed by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state.

Trump isn’t mentioning former President George W. Bush, who led a war to oust Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Trump’s third focus is working with allies such as Israel — and he’s promising to block Syrian refugees from entering the country.


10:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is accusing America’s first black president of dividing the nation along racial lines.

The Republican presidential nominee is calling President Barack Obama’s rhetoric on race “irresponsible.”

Trump is blaming Obama for making the country more dangerous.

Trump is making the charges during his prime-time address at the Republican National Convention.

Trump says Obama “has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color.”


10:50 p.m.

Donald Trump says he’ll work with and appoint the “best and brightest prosecutors and law enforcement officials” to crack down on violence against police.

He tells delegates at the Republican National Convention that “an attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.”


10:45 p.m.

A protester has interrupted Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention.

A woman waving a banner started yelling more than 20 minutes into Trump’s remarks.

The GOP presidential nominee paused for nearly a minute while waiting for police to remove her.

The convention crowd chanted, “USA!” for much of the time as Trump stood silently at the podium.

When Trump began speaking again, he said: “How great are our police?” as authorities took the protester out of the arena.


10:40 p.m.

Donald Trump is using his acceptance speech to tear into Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump is accusing Clinton of committing “terrible, terrible crimes.”

He says Clinton’s use of a personal email and mishandling of classified information while secretary of state amounts to a new level of corruption.

Trump is also accusing Clinton “trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers.”

Trump is offering no evidence to support his claims.


10:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is putting a lid on the calls by delegates at the Republican National Convention to put Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in jail.

Trump was giving his acceptance speech Thursday night when the crowd began chanting “Lock her up!” — a chant heard during previous nights at the convention.

Trump waved his hands in a motion to discourage the refrain. Then he said: “Let’s defeat her in November.”


10:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is blaming Hillary Clinton’s “bad instincts” for disasters across the world.

Trump says his Democratic opponent has left a legacy of what he calls “death, destruction and weakness.”

The Republican presidential nominee cites the spread of the Islamic State group, the deadly attacks on the American consulate in Libya and violence across Iraq and Syria.

Trump says a change in U.S. leadership will change the world’s challenges.


10:26 p.m.

Donald Trump says nearly 180,000 people who are in the United States illegally are a threat to the nation’s safety.

He tells delegates at the Republican National Convention that, if he’s elected president, he’ll lead a country of “law and order.”

The promise is the first point the Republican presidential nominee made in his convention address.

Trump says “attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life.” He says “crime and violence” will end if he’s elected president.


10:24 p.m.

Donald Trump wasn’t alone when he came onstage to accept the Republican nomination for president at the Republican National Convention.

Two Secret Service agents stood nearby, off to left and right of the stage, right behind him and out of camera view.


10:23 p.m.

Ivanka Trump is vouching for dad with women and minorities — two groups Donald Trump has struggled to win over.

Trump’s oldest daughter says her dad is “color blind and gender neutral.” She says “he hires the best person for the job, period.”

The younger Trump noted she’s worked with her father for more than a decade and seen him hire people from “all walks of life.”

Donald Trump has faced criticism for his hiring practices and treatment of women in his businesses. But his daughter says his construction sites are “true meritocracies.”


10:15 p.m.

Ivanka Trump is promising that Donald Trump will fight for equal pay for women and affordable child care.

The Republican presidential nominee’s eldest daughter outlined priorities often associated with Democrats during her prime-time address Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.

She says motherhood is creating a pay discrepancy for women, but says her father “will fight for equal pay for equal work.”

Ivanka Trump says her father will “focus on making affordable childcare affordable and accessible for all” if elected.

Trump hasn’t addressed child care costs or the gender pay gap so far in his 2016 presidential bid.


10:19 p.m.

Donald Trump has accepted the Republican nomination for president.

The New York billionaire formally became the GOP standard bearer Thursday night on the convention stage in Cleveland.

He will represent the Republican Party on the ballot in November.

Here’s what he said from the stage: “I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.”


10:10 p.m.

Ivanka Trump is calling her father “the people’s nominee.”

Donald Trump’s oldest daughter tells the Republican National Convention that her father is a fighter.

She says she doesn’t consider herself a Republican or a Democrat. Sometimes, she says, she has a tough choice picking a presidential candidate.

But not this time.

Here’s how she puts it: “For more than a year, Donald Trump has been the people’s champion. And tonight, he is the people’s nominee.”

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech is coming up soon.


10 p.m.

Donald Trump’s campaign hasn’t always followed to tradition, but it is sticking with a convention staple — the biographical video.

The Trump mini-movie aired in prime time Thursday night from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

It is casting the billionaire candidate from New York as big city builder with a heart. It makes no mention of his second career as a celebrity and reality TV star.

The video features black-and-white photos of a young Trump growing up in Queens and learning the tricks of the building trade from his father.

But the younger Trump dreamed big — as the narrator says — and decided to leave for Manhattan — the “biggest city in the world.”

The video describes Trump as a team player who created tens of thousands of jobs, and the film says many of those jobs were for women.


9:55 p.m.

Melania Trump has arrived at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the GOP presidential nominee is getting ready to deliver his acceptance speech.

It’s her first appearance in the arena since her prime-time speech Monday night that went viral with charges of plagiarism.

She’s made her way to the box reserved for Trump’s family and is sitting with her son, Barron, the youngest of Donald Trump’s children.


9:30 p.m.

High-tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel says he’s proud to be gay and proud to be a Republican — but most of all, proud to be an American.

And that declaration is winning Thiel loud cheers at the Republican convention.

The PayPal co-founder is the first person to give a GOP convention speech and acknowledge being gay.

Thiel says the culture wars are distracting Americans from important economic issues. He says debates over transgender people and bathrooms are “a distraction from our real problems.”


9:25 p.m.

It’s almost time for Donald Trump to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Committee, but he’s raising money as if he’d already given the much-anticipated address.

The email appeal is hitting inboxes before the GOP presidential nominee had taken the stage.

Here’s what the message says: “I just delivered my speech at the Republican National Convention, where I officially accepted our Party’s nomination for President of the United States.”

The appeal also says: “I can’t thank my wonderful supporters enough.”


8:45 p.m.

The GOP chairman has a new description for the Democratic Party.

Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) calls it the “party of the same old thing.”

That’s Priebus’ message Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.

He’s planning to go after Democrat Hillary Clinton even more so than praising Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Priebus says in prepared remarks that Democrats will “trot out the same old Democrats with the same old message running the same old candidate” at next week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

He calls the Republican Party “the party of new ideas.”


8:40 p.m.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is getting his turn in the spotlight at the Republican convention.

The Silicon Valley billionaire says Donald Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan isn’t about returning to the past but leading “us back to that bright future.”

He’s set to speak later Thursday — when he’ll become the first person in a GOP convention speech to acknowledge being gay.

Excerpts of his speech are being released before he takes the stage.

Thiel has faced some blowback in Silicon Valley for backing Trump. The GOP nominee says he’d nominate Supreme Court justices who might overturn the decision legalizing gay marriage.

Thiel says he doesn’t agree with every part of the party’s policy platform. But he says what he calls “fake culture wars” only distract Americans from economic issues.


8:30 p.m.

A bipartisan group of national security experts is criticizing Donald Trump for suggesting the United States may reconsider NATO’s policy of defending its members against possible Russian aggression.

They’ve written an open letter to U.S. “friends and allies.” These experts call Trump’s comments “inflammatory” and say his remarks don’t “represent the interests of the United States.”

Among the 40 expert who signed on are former Sen. Carl Levin; former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and a retired Marine lieutenant general, John Castellaw.

Trump indicated in a New York Times interview that he may review the financial contributions of certain NATO members before acting under the alliance’s Article 5 mutual defense clause if they were attacked by Russia.


8:10 p.m.

Chants of “All Lives Matter” are filling the arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Leading the chant is a pastor from South Carolina — Mark Burns. He says Donald Trump won’t “pander” to one race.

Burns also is calling on the GOP to listen to the problems of people in disenfranchised communities in the country. He says that more than anything, they want jobs.

The “All Lives Matter” chant is often used by conservatives to counter the Black Lives Matter movement, which has called attention to police violence against African-Americans.


8:05 p.m.

The longtime and well-known sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix says his “most important mission” is just beginning: electing Donald Trump to the White House.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY’-oh) — a leading foe of illegal immigration — is praising Trump’s immigration policies and support for law enforcement.

Arpaio says Trump will “restore law and order” and put the interests of U.S. citizens first.

Just the mention of Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border won cheers from the delegates at the Republican National Convention.


6:50 p.m.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the leading contender to join the Democratic ticket as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

That’s according to two Democrats, but they also caution that Clinton hasn’t made a final decision and could change direction.

The announcement of Clinton’s pick could come as early as Friday afternoon in Florida.

The timing is aimed at shifting attention away from the end of Donald Trump’s Republican convention and generating excitement before the start of Clinton’s own convention next week in Philadelphia.

The two Democrats also say Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is still in the mix.

The Democrats are familiar with the selection process and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the search publicly.


6 p.m.

There’s not a lot of love from the O’Jays about the use of their song “Love Train” during the Republican National Convention.

The R&B group says its hit — including a version remixed as “Trump Train” — is being used without the band’s consent.

Founding O’Jays members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams say in a statement they were asked to appear at the Cleveland convention. They say they turned down the offer, and they say Donald Trump’s candidacy is — in their words — “divisive and at odds with the overriding message of their song.”

Levert is making clear what he thinks about the GOP presidential nominee: “I think he just may be the anti-Christ.”

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