Trump pardons convicted felon during RNC 2020′s second night

President Trump granted a full pardon to Jon Ponder, a former federal inmate who turned his life around. The action took place during the RNC.

President Donald Trump pardoned a convicted bank robber on day two of the Republican National Convention, as other members of his family, including the first lady and two of his children, headlined Tuesday night’s programming.

In a video, Trump highlighted the pardon of Jon Ponder, a Nevada man convicted of bank robbery. Trump said Ponder’s story is a “beautiful testament to the power of redemption.” Ponder now leads a program in Las Vegas that helps former prisoners reenter society, called Hope for Prisoners.

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Trump also attended the naturalization ceremony of five immigrants who became new US citizens. The ceremony took place in the White House, and was presided over by Chad Wolf, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s not so easy, you went through a lot and we appreciate you being here today,” Trump said. “You’ve earned the most prized, treasured, cherished and priceless possession anywhere in the world. It’s called American citizenship.”

Just minutes before the RNC’s second night began, officials pulled a conservative activist from the program minutes before it began.

Mary Ann Mendoza had been scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday night to highlight the president’s fight against illegal immigration. Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 in a head-on collision by a man who was under the influence and living in the U.S. illegally. ”We have removed the scheduled video from the convention lineup and it will no longer run this week,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh.

Mendoza and other parents whose children have been killed by people in the country illegally had labeled themselves “Angel Moms.” Mendoza had apologized for the tweet, writing that she “retweeted a very long thread earlier without reading every post within the thread” and said it “does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever.”

> Melania Trump stars during RNC 2020′s second night

>Watch video highlights of the RNC

Other speakers Tuesday night included Abby Johnson, an anti-abortion activist who previously worked for Planned Parenthood but resigned following an abortion of a woman who was 13 weeks pregnant. She founded a ministry that lobbies abortion clinics employees to leave their jobs, and a movie based around her life story was released last year.

Also appearing was Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky teenager who gained attention last year for a widely shared video of his interaction with a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, during demonstrations in Washington, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The truth was not important. Advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered,” Sandmann said of the incident.

> RNC Notebook: Marjorie Taylor Greene receives invite to White House for Trump’s speech

Here are some other memorable quotes from night two:

  • “Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am black. We are not all the same. I’m not in chains, my mind is my own. And you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin.” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
  • “Why are we prevented from seeing certain information? The answer is control.” — Tiffany Trump
  • “Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms.” — Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of Billy Graham

Democrats unloaded on Pompeo before his RNC address. An aide to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden who has worked for the State Department called Pompeo’s Tuesday speech “flat out disgraceful,” according to the Associated Press. Biden aide Bill Russo says it’s “an abuse of taxpayer money,” while another Biden deputy, Kate Bedingfield, blasted Pompeo as Trump’s “errand boy” and said he has a record of “repeated and blatant use of his office for overtly political purposes.”