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Thursday’s Republican National Convention speakers, explained for people who don’t watch Fox News

Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Ivanka Trump are among the speakers during the final night of the convention.

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President Donald Trump and his wife first lady Melania Trump attend Mike Pence’s acceptance speech for the vice presidential nomination during the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument on August 26, 2020, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Nicole Narea covers politics and society for Vox. She first joined Vox in 2019, and her work has also appeared in Politico, Washington Monthly, and the New Republic.

The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday will feature President Donald Trump accepting his party’s renomination, as well as speeches by his daughter Ivanka Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Republican National Committee abandoned its plans to hold a large-scale, in-person convention in Charlotte, North Carolina — as well as its subsequent plans to relocate the convention to Jacksonville, Florida — on account of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The convention has consequently gone almost entirely virtual and largely taken place in Washington, DC, including speeches delivered from the White House lawn and the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, over just a few hours of condensed programming that has been broadcast nightly.

The theme of Thursday night is “Land of Greatness.” The official proceedings go from 8:30 to 11 pm ET. All major television networks will broadcast the final hour; the full program will be available on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, as well as streaming services including Amazon Prime Video.

The first three days of the convention have featured remarks from both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, followed by others from the president’s family and allies, including Donald Trump Jr. and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.

On the third night of the convention, on the heels of shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Pence delivered a speech claiming that Trump is the only one who can quell the violence, warning, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” The second night of the convention featured more remarks from Trump family members, including a speech by first lady Melania Trump, and while the theme of night one hearkened back to the “American Carnage” speech given by Trump in 2016, night two celebrated a sanitized version of Trump aimed at swing-state voters.

The appearances have all led up to Trump accepting the nomination on Thursday night from the White House — a break from tradition that some legal and ethics experts argue is a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of government property for political activities.

Here’s the lineup of speakers for Thursday night (which is subject to change) in the order they are scheduled to appear:

Franklin Graham

Graham is the son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, an evangelist who served as a spiritual adviser to a number of presidents, and the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His relative Cissie Graham Lynch also spoke during the second night of the RNC.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

McCarthy was elected to Congress in 2006 and become the Republican leader in the House in 2014.

Ja’Ron Smith

Smith has advised Trump on domestic policy since April 2019 and previously served in the White House as an urban affairs policy adviser. He also worked for Pence while he was in the US House and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Trump has reportedly referred to him as “my star.”

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ)

Van Drew was elected to Congress in 2018 and previously served as a New Jersey state senator. He previously identified as a Democrat but officially changed his party affiliation in January because he disagreed with Democrats’ impeachment of Trump.

Wade Mayfield

Mayfield is the president of Thermal Services, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company in Omaha, Nebraska.

Stacia Brightmon

Brightmon is a Marine Corps veteran from Houston, Texas, who participated in an apprenticeship program for women and military veterans that led to full-time employment.

Dan Scavino

Scavino, one of the longest-serving aides in the Trump administration, is the White House deputy chief of staff and was Trump’s social media director for his 2016 presidential campaign. He is one of the few aides who has access to Trump’s Twitter account.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

McConnell has served as the Republican leader in the Senate since 2006, serving in the post for longer than anyone before him.

Dana White

White is the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s largely MMA organization, who previously spoke at the 2016 RNC endorsing Trump. He donated $1 million in February to a super PAC supporting Trump’s reelection.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Reyes has served as Utah’s Attorney General since 2013 and is currently seeking reelection, as well as serving as the Utah co-chair for Trump’s reelection campaign. He gained notoriety after appealing a lower court ruling that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban to the Supreme Court in 2014 and also joined a number of other Republican state attorneys general in suing the Obama administration over issues including transgender rights.

Debbie Flood

Flood is the president and owner of a manufacturing and steel production company in Wisconsin.

Ann Dorn

St. Louis, Missouri, Police Sergeant Ann Dorn will speak about how her late husband, David Dorn, a former police captain, was killed while defending a store that was being looted amid the protests over the death of George Floyd. His daughters have objected to her appearance at the convention, saying that their father did not support Trump, according to the St. Louis American.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson

Carson, an evangelical Christian and Republican presidential candidate in 2016, has served as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s top official since 2017 despite having no previous experience in housing. He has tried to drastically scale back fair and affordable housing during his tenure. Previously a surgeon at Johns Hopkins-Bloomberg Children’s Center, he recently pushed an untested coronavirus treatment called oleandrin alongside the founder and CEO of MyPillow.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani was the mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001 and has served as Trump’s personal lawyer since 2018. He was involved in Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter over Hunter’s shady but not illegal business dealings in the country. Two of Giuliani’s Ukrainian business associates have been indicted on criminal campaign finance charges.

Patrick Lynch

Lynch is the president of the Police Benevolent Association, a police union in New York City that has endorsed Trump.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Cotton was elected to the Senate in 2015 and also previously served one term in the US House. Known for his hardline policies on immigration, gun rights, and policing, he wrote a controversial op-ed in the New York Times in June that argued for the deployment of the US military to American cities to quell the violence and looting that had broken out amid protests over the shooting of George Floyd.

Carl and Marsha Mueller

The Muellers are the parents of Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old humanitarian worker who was held captive in Aleppo, Syria, by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; she was killed in 2015.

Alice Johnson

Johnson spent 22 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug and money laundering conviction before Trump granted her clemency at the recommendation of Kim Kardashian West. She is now a criminal justice reform advocate.

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump is the president’s eldest daughter who has served as a White House adviser since 2017 alongside her husband Jared Kushner, which has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interests. Recently, she came under fire for promoting a Goya Foods can of beans on Twitter, running afoul of federal ethics laws preventing federal employees from endorsing products. She also reportedly proposed her father’s controversial photo op in which he held a bible in front of St. John’s Church, which involved tear-gassing protesters in front of the White House.

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