The Latest: Mike Pence accepts GOP nomination to be VP

Delegates on the floor of the convention are reflected in a mirror on the side of a camera stand during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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

11:10 p.m.

Donald Trump has given running mate Mike Pence an air kiss at the conclusion of the Indiana governor’s speech at the GOP convention.

Trump came onstage as Pence finished speaking. Pence’s teleprompter displayed the stage direction “embrace” just after his final words.

After the momentary affection, Trump and Pence shook hands and stood together briefly onstage before Trump exited.

Pence took a moment onstage with his family to smile at the audience before exiting.


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11:05 p.m.

Mike Pence is framing the November presidential race as crucial to defining the makeup of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years.

The GOP vice presidential nominee says voters must ensure that it’s Donald Trump picking the next high court justices.

The Indiana governor says Democrat Hillary Clinton would choose justices who would take unconstitutional actions.

He says it’s crucial to elect Trump to protect the Second Amendment, “the sanctity of life” and other liberties.

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11 p.m.

The Republican vice presidential nominee is calling Hillary Clinton the “secretary of the status quo.”

Mike Pence once swore off negative campaigning. But the Indiana governor is really going after Clinton in his GOP convention speech Wednesday night.

Pence says Democrats are going with a stale agenda and the most predictable candidate.

Pence is playing on one of Trump’s most well-known catchphrase. He says that under Trump, change in the country will be “huge.”

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10:55 p.m.

Donald Trump – his own man, an independent spirit, someone who “just doesn’t quit.”

That’s how the Republican presidential nominee is being described by his running mate, Mike Pence.

Pence says Trump has gone about as far as one can go in business, but has never turned his back on American workers.

The Indiana governor also says Trump won’t ever turn his back on American service members, either.

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10:45 p.m.

Mike Pence says Republicans have nominated a presidential candidate who never quits or backs down.

The Indiana governor is Donald Trump’s running mate.

Pence says in his speech at the party’s convention that Republicans will retake the presidency in November because they’re being honest with Americans about the stakes in the election – and the choice facing voters.

Pence says Democrat Hillary Clinton will never serve as president.

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10:40 p.m.

Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence, has accepted the Republican nomination to be vice president.

Pence says he never thought he’d be standing on the stage at his party’s national convention. Pence jokes that running mate Donald Trump is charismatic and must have been looking for balance in choosing him.

Pence is using the speech to tell his life story. He’s paying tribute to his mother in the audience and says his dad would be surprised at the nomination if he were still alive.

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10:35 p.m.

Eric Trump says his father is the one candidate for president “who does not need this job.”

Dad Donald Trump sat in the family box at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to hear his son make the case for Trump’s election to the White House.

Eric Trump says the country should put his father in the White House because America needs someone who “understands the art of the deal” and appreciates the value of a dollar.

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10:25 p.m.

Newt Gingrich is defending Ted Cruz’s decision not to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Cruz – a bitter Trump rival from the primaries – used his speech earlier Wednesday night at the party’s convention to suggest that people vote their “conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.”

Gingrich – a former House speaker who’s a Trump supporter – says Cruz’s advice actually amounts to an endorsement.

Gingrich says there’s only one candidate on the ballot in November who’ll uphold the Constitution – and that’s Trump, he says.

The convention hall booed Cruz after he finished his prime-time address – when he didn’t explicitly endorse Trump.

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10:20 p.m.

Newt Gingrich says people should be terrified at the prospect of Democrat Hillary Clinton as president. The former House speaker says Clinton won’t tell the American people the truth about the danger posed by Islamic extremists.

Gingrich is telling the Republican National Convention that the price Americans would pay for electing Clinton would be what he calls the “loss of America as we know it.”

Gingrich – a Donald Trump ally – says Islamic extremists are stronger than the Obama administration admits.

He says that instead of losing nearly 3,000 people in a Sept. 11-style attack, Americans could wake up to an attack that leaves 300,000 dead. Gingrich warns that terrorists with weapons of mass destruction could capture a U.S. city.

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10:10 p.m.

Donald Trump has made good on his promise to forgive more than $47 million in loans he made to his campaign during the primary season.

New federal campaign finance reports show the GOP presidential nominee no longer is carrying a balance on his loans.

That’s as he raised $21.9 million in contributions, leaving Trump with $20.2 million in the bank.

Trump’s haul came after a disappointing May, when his campaign finished with $1.3 million.

The latest figures show the Republican Party had $21.1 million cash on hand by July 1.

Fundraising figures for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign aren’t yet available. They have to be filed by midnight Wednesday.

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10:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is sitting in the front row of the VIP section of the convention hall for the final speeches of the evening.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka turned and applauded her father as he entered just as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was finishing his speech.

The GOP presidential nominee is joined by children Tiffany and Donald Jr. along with some of his children’s spouses.

Son Eric Trump is praising his father’s business record in his speech to the convention.

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9:55 p.m.

Boos filled the convention hall in Cleveland as one-time presidential candidate Ted Cruz finished his prime-time speech to Republican activists.

The jeers rained down after the Texas senator refused to endorse Trump – now the official GOP presidential nominee – in his address.

Cruz finished second to Trump in the delegate count and the two were bitter rivals during the primary campaign.

Cruz told supporters to vote their conscience – and not to stay home for the general election in November.

The boos stopped once Trump entered the convention hall.

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9:50 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says the British vote to leave the European Union is sign of a powerful political force at work.

Cruz – in a speech at the Republican National Convention – isn’t explicitly supporting that decision. But he says the vote shows that people are overwhelmingly rejecting big government.

He says – in that respect – it’s a “profound victory.”

He says people are fed up with politicians who don’t listen to them and they’re weary of a corrupt system that benefits elites.

Cruz received enthusiastic applause in the convention hall when he brought up the Brexit vote.

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9:30 p.m.

Ted Cruz finished second in the delegate count to Donald Trump, but the Texas senator isn’t ready to endorse the Republican presidential nominee.

Cruz is taking his turn on the stage at the Republican National Convention – and he’s stopping short of endorsing his former rival.

Cruz says in remarks released before he began speaking that Americans should “vote your conscience.” He never says they should vote for Trump.

Trump and Cruz engaged in bitter recriminations during the Republican primaries. Trump repeatedly referred to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz said Trump was a “pathological liar.”

Cruz is saying almost nothing about Trump in his speech. But he’s heaping criticism on Democrat Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.

___

9:10 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is telling Republicans who are on the fence about supporting Donald Trump for president that “we can’t wait four more years.”

Walker says in a speech to the Republican National Convention that “America deserves better than Hillary Clinton.”

Walker – who was one of Trump’s early challengers before dropping out of the race last year – says a vote for a protest vote for a third-party candidate is essentially a vote for Democrat Clinton.

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9 p.m.

A state senator from Kentucky switched briefly to Spanish during his speech to the Republican convention and urged voters to back Donald Trump.

Ralph Alvarado says people came to the U.S. from countries that are full of corruption and dishonesty. He’s pleading with Americans not to let that happen in the U.S.

He says in America, there’s opportunity and freedom.

It’s the first time at this convention that a speaker has tried to appeal directly to Spanish-speaking voters.

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8:30 p.m.

Businessman Phil Ruffin is describing Donald Trump as an honest broker who can be trusted with the job of running the country.

Ruffin is a Trump business partner. He says he’s known Trump for 20 years and says the GOP presidential nominee is smart and tough.

Ruffin spoke at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night. He was trying to undercut claims by people who’ve done business with Trump that Trump fails to pay his bills or underpays his contractors.

Ruffin says Trump pays bills promptly and that nobody lost any money.

Ruffin veered frequently from his script during the speech, and improvised while the teleprompter struggled to keep up.

___

8:15 p.m.

The “lock her up” chant – the “her” is Hillary Clinton – is in full roar again at the Republican National Convention.

The chant returned early in Wednesday evening’s session, with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on stage criticizing the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Scott says Clinton won’t protect the borders, eliminate Islamic extremism or create jobs.

He says: “Hillary fails. She fails. She fails. She fails.” The governor says Democrats have “led us to a cliff.”

___

8 p.m.

Donald Trump says Meredith McIver made a mistake.

She’s the Trump Organization staff writer who’s taken the blame for nearly identical passages from Melania Trump’s Republican convention speech and Michelle Obama’s remarks eight years ago.

Trump tells ABC that McIver is a “terrific person” and should keep her job

Here’s Trump’s take: “People make mistakes. … We all make mistakes.”

Trump says he thinks it’s “terrific” that she’s admitted that mistake.

The Trump campaign had spent the past two days denying that any part of Melania Trump’s convention speech was plagiarized. McIver took blame Wednesday and offered to apologize.

___

7:40 p.m.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has gaveled in the third day of the GOP convention.

The focal point of Wednesday’s session is a speech from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate.

Pence is largely unknown to most Americans. His address is a big opportunity for him to introduce himself and reassure anxious Republicans about Trump’s candidacy.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also is among the scheduled speakers. He’s a conservative favorite who came in second in the delegate race behind Trump.

The big question is whether Cruz will endorse Trump after criticizing him harshly in the primary campaign.

___

6:35 p.m.

A call for Republican Party unity after a bruising fight for the presidential nomination.

It’s the message Mike Pence plans to convey to GOP delegates when gives his vice presidential acceptance speech at the party’s convention Wednesday night.

Also look for the Indiana governor to urge rank-and-file Republicans who may be uneasy about Donald Trump to no longer be reluctant supporters.

Campaign officials are previewing Pence’s speech. They’re speaking on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss Pence’s remarks before he speaks.

Pence plans to make the case that he’s prepared to govern. He’s expected to point to Indiana’s economic growth and to policy accomplishments under his watch – signs of experience and accomplishments. That could help a GOP ticket led by a political neophyte.

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6:30 p.m.

Mike Pence is getting the chance to introduce himself to the country. He’s Indiana’s governor and a former congressman, and now he’s Donald Trump’s running mate on the GOP ticket.

And he’s set to give his acceptance speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.

Pence is regarded as soft-spoken, and he’s a religious conservative from the Midwest. Campaign officials say he’ll try to explain why he’s signed on to a partnership with Trump, a brash celebrity businessman.

Campaign officials are previewing Pence’s speech. They’re speaking on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss Pence’s remarks before he speaks.

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5:45 p.m.

Bernie Sanders plans to meet with 1,900 of his delegates right before the start of the Democratic National Convention on Monday.

The meeting is aimed at providing direction to his undecided supporters after he endorsed presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

The Sanders campaign, in an email to delegates, is promising a “very special meeting with Bernie himself.”

The private meeting will follow morning briefings hosted by the campaign on health care, trade and criminal justice. One session will offer guidance to delegates about “how to keep the political revolution going strong.”

The email was obtained by The Associated Press.

Many Sanders delegates are expressing disappointment – and some uncertainty – as they prepare to descend on Philadelphia for a convention that will nominate Clinton.

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4:35 p.m.

The Secret Service is investigating a prominent Donald Trump supporter who said Hillary Clinton should be “shot for treason.”

Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback says the agency is aware of comments made by New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro. Hoback says the Secret Service “will conduct the appropriate investigation.”

Baldasaro said Clinton – a former secretary of state who’s the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee – should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason” over the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks says Trump and his campaign don’t agree with Baldasaro’s remarks.

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4:20 p.m.

Pop singer Demi Lovato, actress Lena Dunham and actor Tony Goldwyn are among the celebrities expected to participate in next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

They’ll be joined by NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA player and gay rights activist Jason Collins and actresses America Ferrara, Eva Longoria and Debra Messing.

Many of the celebrities campaigned on Clinton’s behalf during the primaries.

___

3:52 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential search is centering on three main contenders.

An announcement is expected as early as this weekend. Clinton is preparing for the Democratic National Convention set to begin Monday in Philadelphia.

Democrats familiar with the search say Clinton’s running mate process has focused on Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

That’s according to Democrats familiar with the process. They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.

Clinton is expected to announce her decision during a two-day campaign swing in Florida later this week.

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3:49 p.m.

New Hampshire Republicans are strongly condemning a Trump supporter for saying that Hillary Clinton should be “shot for treason.”

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro said Clinton, a former secretary of state, should be – in his words – “put in the firing line and shot for treason,” over the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

State GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn says Baldasaro’s comments are, in her view, “appalling and have no place in public discourse.”

New Hampshire’s House speaker, Shawn Jasper, says Baldasaro’s remarks are “just outrageous.”

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3:31 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has launched a Spanish language Twitter account aimed at what it said were more than 40 million people who speak Spanish in the United States.

A campaign statement says Clinton “understands that our country’s diversity and multiculturalism is one of America’s greatest strength.”

That’s a shot at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who says he’ll rein in illegal immigration in part by building a wall along the southern U.S. border and make Mexico pay for it.

The Clinton account is called Hillary_esp. The campaign also has a website in Spanish and bilingual voter registration tool.

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2:32 p.m.

Ted Cruz was ruminating in Cleveland about “what the future is going to hold” for his presidential ambitions when Donald Trump’s personal jet appeared in the sky over head to remind him whose party he was attending.

Cruz, who finished second to Trump in the GOP contest, chuckled, “That was pretty well orchestrated.”

He spoke Wednesday to hundreds of supporters who chanted, “2020, 2020, 2020,” ahead of his speech to the Republican National Convention.

He left wide open a return to the presidential campaign trail in the future. The Texas senator is not expected to endorse Trump during his address to the convention.

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2:21 p.m.

Donald Trump has dramatically landed in Cleveland in advance of accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s plane landed at an airstrip near Lake Erie and then the celebrity businessman took his helicopter to a landing field at the Great Lakes Science Center a short distance from the convention site. His wife, Melania Trump, was not with him.

Some members of Trump’s family, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and some supporters were on hand to greet him. Amid swelling music, Trump and Pence thanked their supporters.

Trump was at the convention Monday to introduce his wife Melania but then returned to New York.

He is slated to address the convention Thursday night and may appear with Pence during the vice presidential nominee’s speech Wednesday night.

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1:49 p.m.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that passages incorporated into Melania Trump’s convention speech from Michelle Obama’s convention speech in 2008 shows that Americans admire similar values in their political leaders.

Earnest was reacting to news that Meredith McIver, a Trump Organization staff writer, says she made a mistake in including the passages. He says that admiring the same values shows the nation isn’t as divided as it may seem. That’s a point made recently by President Barack Obama.

Earnest says Mrs. Obama’s speech in 2008 drew widespread praise. He says “I’m confident in the future, aspiring first ladies or potential first husbands will draw on the same kind of sentiments to advocate for their spouse.”

Meredith McIver explained her role in the Trump plagiarism controversy in a statement issued Wednesday.

___

1:12 p.m.

A prominent Donald Trump delegate from New Hampshire says Hillary Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason,” over the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that killed four Americans.

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro appears frequently with Trump and serves as an adviser on veteran’s issues. He made the remarks Tuesday when asked on a Boston radio program if Clinton was responsible for the Benghazi deaths.

He says Clinton “is a disgrace for the lies she told those mothers about their children,” adding, “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

He’s also calling Clinton a “piece of garbage” for using a private email server while she was President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Baldasaro is known for making controversial comments in his role as a New Hampshire lawmaker. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

___

1:03 p.m.

Some delegates to the Republican National Convention are upset that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is skipping out on the main events.

Kasich has avoided the convention hall in Cleveland and has refused to endorse his former presidential rival Donald Trump.

New Hampshire delegate Steve Stepanek, who is the state co-chairman for Trump’s campaign, says Kasich’s actions are a “real slap in the face” and an “insult” to Trump and Republican delegates from across the country.

Missouri delegate Dave Spence says he also is “a little miffed” at Kasich. Spence supported Kasich in Missouri’s primary. And Kasich helped raise money for Spence’s unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2012.

But Spence says Kasich is “trying to be too coy” and should be at the Republican convention in his home state.

___

12:44 p.m.

A Trump Organization staff writer says she made a “mistake” in including passages from a Michelle Obama speech in Melania Trump’s convention speech.

Meredith McIver says she offered her resignation, but Donald Trump rejected it.

McIver explained her role in the Trump plagiarism controversy in a statement issued Wednesday.

McIver says Mrs. Trump read passages of Mrs. Obama’s 2008 convention speech during the writing the process. She says her notes from that conversation made it into the final version.

She says she feels terrible for the “chaos” she caused.

The Trump campaign has said denied accusations of plagiarism, saying the similarities were coincidence.

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12:08 p.m.

Sen. Bob Corker says the controversy over passages in Melania Trump’s convention speech has been “aggravated by the response” from the Trump campaign.

The Tennessee Republican tells The Associated Press that he “can’t imagine that from her part there was anything nefarious under way.” Corker adds that he thinks the campaign should have found “a better way” to handle the situation “so that it’s not kept alive. She’s got to be mortified.”

Two passages of Mrs. Trump’s speech Monday night were nearly identical to passages from Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago. But rather than acknowledge any error, Trump’s campaign is in denial mode, blaming the media for creating a controversy and suggesting Hillary Clinton bore some responsibility.

Corker is a Trump supporter who is in regular touch with campaign officials after taking himself out of the running for vice president. He is in Cleveland this week but declined a speaking role to the convention hall. He says teleprompter speeches aren’t his thing.

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11:47 a.m.

Donald Trump says the plagiarism charges surrounding his wife’s speech at the Republican National Convention are not necessarily all bad.

Trump says in a tweet, “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!”

Mrs. Trump’s speech Monday evening included two passages that matched word-for-word with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic convention.

Trump advisers have defiantly denied the charge, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Trump blames the press for harping on the issue, saying the media “is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.”

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11:44 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is preparing for his closely watched moment at the center of the Republican National Convention.

Pence, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, will speak at the convention in Cleveland Wednesday night. He did a walkthrough at the Quicken Loans Arena that morning.

Joined by his wife Karen, Pence stood onstage at the arena for several minutes, checking the sight lines, doing a mic check and getting comfortable with the TelePrompTers.

Pence, who was selected by Trump last week after days of highly public debate, is expected to vouch for the celebrity businessman’s conservative credentials and call for unity in a Republican Party left divided after a bruising primary fight.

___

10:35 a.m.

Caitlyn Jenner says it was easier to come out as transgender than it was as a Republican.

The transgender activist and Olympic gold medalist is speaking at a breakfast at the Republican National Convention to promote LGBT inclusion in the GOP. She says Democrats do a better job on the issue.

Jenner is crediting President Barack Obama for taking positive steps for LGBT individuals. She received a smattering of applause from fellow Republicans for acknowledging his move to eliminate the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

Jenner says the issue of which bathrooms transgender people use has been used politically for many years. She says she hasn’t had any problems.

Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner transitioned to her new identity last year.

___

9:33 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. says his father’s speech Thursday will be about “taking care of America.”

Trump Jr. says politicians overpromise and under-deliver and that his father is different. Trump Jr. is speaking in Cleveland at a breakfast hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

Asked whether the candidate’s delivery will be more in the style of a freewheeling rally or teleprompter policy speech, Trump Jr. says, “This is a time where there will be discipline.”

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9:24 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. isn’t ruling out a future in politics.

The 38-year-old New Yorker says that when his five children are older, he’d consider running for office. Trump Jr. is speaking at a breakfast in Cleveland hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

He adds that he’d “love to be able to do it, as a patriot.”

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8:50 a.m.

Donald Trump’s top adviser says that former presidential rival Ted Cruz will have a role in the general election campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Paul Manafort told CNN’s “New Day” that the Texas senator, who is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention later Wednesday, will offer a message “consistent with what Mr. Trump is talking about.”

Asked whether Cruz will endorse Trump, Manafort said Cruz “will be part of the campaign going forward,” but “in what capacity, I’m not sure.”

He said his words will at least “suggest” that he is backing Trump’s candidacy for president.

Throughout the primaries, Trump consistently called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and took jabs at the appearance of his Cruz’ wife, Goldman Sachs executive Heidi Cruz.

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7:12 a.m.

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says one purpose of the Republican National Convention is to redefine the GOP presidential nominee.

Paul Manafort said on ABC Wednesday that, “we feel that the American people don’t know all of Donald Trump.”

He added that by the time the convention closes this week, Trump’s family and close friends will have painted “a picture of the candidate who’s… a father, a compassionate human being, a successful businessman.”

Manafort said there will be less emphasis on Trump’s signature issues that he highlighted during the GOP primary, such as a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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