The national GOP convention is in its third day in Cleveland. Politics reporter Jim Brunner is sending frequent updates. Follow along live.

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This is a live account from Wednesday, July 20. Click here for live updates from Thursday, July 21.

READ THE STORY FROM WEDNESDAY: Ted Cruz supporters looking to 2020 amid uproar


The basics:

Update, 8:23 p.m.:

In a face-to-face encounter, state GOP chairman Susan Hutchison said she called Cruz a “traitor to the party” near an elevator at the Quicken Loans Arena soon after the senator’s speech. The speech gained thunderous boos from angry delegates, who want Cruz to voice support for the Republican presidential nominee.

Hutchison said she told Cruz his remarks were inexcusable.

— Jim Brunner

Update, 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday night’s headliner, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is on stage now. He has accepted the nomination to run as Trump’s running mate.

“Indiana is a state that works because conservative principles work every time you put them into practice,” he told the crowd of the his state’s economy.

Also in his remarks, the governor framed the November presidential race as crucial to defining the makeup of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years. Voters must ensure Trump picks the next high court justices, Pence told the crowd.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Update, 7:07 p.m.

Delegates booed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz after he ended his speech without endorsing Donald Trump.

In his remarks, Cruz encouraged Americans to “vote your conscience” and not to stay home for the general election in November.

The boos stopped once Trump entered the convention hall.

The Republican presidential nominee is now sitting in the front row of the VIP section. His children Tiffany and Donald Jr. have joined him, along with some of his children’s spouses. Hours later, Trump tweeted this:

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Update, 6:35 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is speaking now, opening with remarks on Dallas police Sgt. Michael Smith, who was one of the five officers killed by gunman this month.

“As I thought about what I wanted to say tonight, Michael Smith’s story weighed on my heart,” Cruz told the crowd.

In the Wednesday night speech, Cruz is saying almost nothing about Trump specifically, but he’s heaping criticism on Clinton and the Obama administration.

Trump and Cruz engaged in bitter recriminations during the Republican primaries, and the Texas senator has not formally endorsed the Republican presidential nominee.

Cruz received enthusiastic applause from the crowd when he mentioned the British vote to leave the European Union. He said the decision is sign of a powerful political force at work and that people are fed up with politicians who don’t listen to them.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Update, 5:05 p.m.

Speeches are under way for the third day of the GOP convention. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, is the focal point of Wednesday’s session.

He’s expected to explain why he’s signed on to the partnership with Trump, as well as call for Republican Party unity after a bruising fight for the presidential nomination.

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.

But right now, radio host Laura Ingraham is rallying the crowd, drawing up the crowd’s deep dislike for Hillary Clinton. The fact that she is the presumptive Democratic nominee, she told the crowd, “has to be some cruel joke, like skinny jeans on men with man buns.”

“I don’t want to sit around and tell my kids stories one day about how great America used to be,” Ingraham said.

She also decried the press’s role in covering the election thus far in a way that she said ignores corruption.

“Do your job,” she said. “America is on to you.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Update, 4:53 p.m.

Here are a few of the speakers slated for tonight:

Update, 4:40 p.m.

Cleveland police dipped into Seattle’s playbook by using hundreds of bicycle cops to control crowds during protests near the convention.

Officials from the Cleveland Police Department visited Seattle during the May Day protests to learn bike-cop tactics.

“We are absolutely honored to have been able to share what we’ve learned … with another agency,” said Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

Since 2012, Seattle Police Department has increased its use of bikes for crowd control. In Cleveland, officers are controlling crowds at the Republican National Convention using tactics learned from SPD. (Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

Update, 4:29 p.m.

Cleveland police say 17 people were arrested during protests near the Republican National Convention. Two officers were assaulted and had minor injuries, police said.

A protester caught himself and a U.S. flag on fire, police said. Here is a video by journalist Luke Rudkowski who captured the scene unfold:

Police said the massive media response is making it difficult for officers to respond to the protests.

Update, 2:42 p.m.

More from the protests in Cleveland:

Update, 2:26 p.m.

Protesters burned a U.S. flag on a downtown street, according to Cleveland police. The fire was extinguished by firefighters and a crime scene was taped off. All media asked to clear the area.

Update, 1:43 p.m.

Update, 1:15 p.m.

Protests intensify outside the convention center.

Update, 12:08 p.m.

More from the Ted Cruz event:

Jennifer Fetters of Bellevue was relieved Cruz didn’t endorse Trump, but said the nominee still has until November to earn her vote:

(Jim Brunner / The Seattle Times)
Washington delegates got to meet Ted Cruz at the Republican National Convention. (Jim Brunner / The Seattle Times)

Update, 11:11 a.m.

Oh my. Apparently, Donald Trump’s jet flew by Ted Cruz’s event just as he mentioned the GOP nominee.

“That was pretty well orchestrated,” Cruz told his supporters.


Update, 11 a.m.

Ted Cruz is speaking to delegates and supporters in Cleveland.

Update, 10:31 a.m.

ICYMI: Meet the “highly respected” state senator from Vancouver who jet sets with Donald Trump.

State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, is part of Trump’s campaign team and has been staying at the same downtown hotel where Trump and other top advisers are stationed, a short jaunt from the action at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Benton has spent the week in Cleveland wearing an earpiece, plugged into the Trump team’s communications, helping to count delegate votes and tamp down a mini rebellion over convention rules.

State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, who is the Washington state campaign director, attends the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. (Jim Brunner/The Seattle Times)
State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, who is the Washington state campaign director, attends the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. (Jim Brunner/The Seattle Times)

That relationship grew when Trump made his only campaign stop in Washington in May. Benton flew with Trump in between rallies in Spokane and Lynden. The two spent 40 minutes together, Benton says, and shared a lunch from McDonald’s.

“I had a Filet-O-Fish and he had a Big Mac,” Benton said.

Update, 9:15 a.m.

Plenty of vendors are peddling swag outside the convention, but there’s also an official convention store. Here are some of the buttons for sale there:


Update, 8:15 a.m.

When House Speaker Paul Ryan pounded the gavel Tuesday, declaring Donald Trump was officially the GOP nominee for president, Yakima’s Michael McCrary walked out of the convention.

McCrary, an alternate delegate, says he has no plans to return. “I have no interest in using my credentials to go to a Trump coronation,” McCrary said Wednesday morning in an interview at the state delegation’s breakfast.

Speakers at the breakfast, including Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp, urged delegates to put aside their frustrations and unite behind Trump. But McCrary was having none of it. He remains  angry that Republican leaders quashed a demand for a roll-call vote on convention rules.

McCrary, who was a supporter of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, says, “I don’t intend to go back in the door.”

(Jim Brunner / The Seattle Times)

Update, 7:24 a.m.

In her floor speech Tuesday announcing how the state delegation voted, party chair Susan Hutchison described the state with references to evergreen trees, wheat fields and Boeing planes. Unmentioned? Seattle.

She says that was on purpose. It’s “time for the rest of the state to recognize how important they are,” she told the delegation Wednesday morning, explaining that the state Republicans’ strategy this year is to boost turnout outside the reliably progressive Emerald City.

Update, 7:10 a.m.

Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp, speaking to the state Republican delegation breakfast Wednesday morning, says the GOP has a chance “to really become the party of the worker and not the party of the elite.”

Meanwhile, the Cleveland police are giving a morning briefing. Yesterday’s demonstrations were “more active and larger than prior days,” the department tweeted, but only five convention-related arrests have been made.

Update, 6 a.m.

The Republican National Convention enters its third day after yesterday nominating Donald Trump as candidate for president. Follow us all day for updates from Cleveland.