Drama as Trump's family took centre stage at his official nomination


The US Republican Party has formally nominated Donald Trump for president - but it was his family who attracted the most attention as the billionaire completed his rise from political outsider to major party candidate for the White House.

The party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, was fraught with chaos, including a plagiarism charge involving the property mogul's own wife, Melania Trump.

Her opening night address on Monday contained remarkable similarities to a speech made by Michelle Obama. Two passages from the speech - each 30 words or longer - matched Obama's 2008 Democratic Convention address nearly word-for-word.

Big similarities between Melania Trump and Michelle Obama's speech.
Big similarities between Melania Trump and Michelle Obama's speech (AP)

The Trump campaign insisted there was no evidence of plagiarism, but offered no explanation for how the strikingly similar passages wound up in Trump's address.

Dominating news coverage from Cleveland, the controversy overshadowed Trump's broader effort to show her husband's softer side.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton pounced on the tumult, comparing the "surreal" Republican gathering to fantasy film The Wizard Of Oz. "When you pull back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump with nothing to offer to the American people," she said during a speech in Las Vegas.

But the contribution of Trump's children came to the rescue on day two of the four-day convention - Trump's highest-profile opportunity to convince voters he is best suited for the presidency.

Tiffany Trump sings dad's praises.
Tiffany Trump sings Dad's praises (Mark J. Terrill/AP/PA)

"For my father, impossible is just the starting point," said Donald Trump Jr, the oldest of the Republican nominee's five children.

Tiffany Trump, the candidate's 22-year-old daughter with ex-wife Marla Maples, sprinkled her remarks with rarely heard anecdotes about her father, including the handwritten notes he left on her childhood report cards. "My dad is a natural born encourager, the last person to ever tell you to lower your sights," she said.

Trump shares some off-stage words.
Trump shares some off-stage words (Mary Altaffer/AP/PA)

But the rest of the convention has seen little drama. There were flurries of dissent on the convention floor as states that Trump did not win recorded their votes, but he far outdistanced his primary rivals. He was put over the top by his home state of New York.

Trump addressed the convention briefly in videotaped remarks, thanking them for formally nominating him as the party's White House candidate. "This is a movement, but we have to go all the way," he said.

Tuesday evening's programme lacked the glitzy, Hollywood touch Trump had promised, but it ended on an unusual note, with an actress-turned-avocado farmer delivering the closing speech - a spot normally reserved for prominent speakers.