Donald Trump vows to save America from crisis as he accepts presidential nomination


Donald Trump has accepted the Republican nomination for president, declaring America is in crisis and promising its people they will be safer and richer if he is elected in November.

The billionaire businessman pledged to curb immigration, build a wall along the border with Mexico, and save the nation from likely opponent Hillary Clinton's record of "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness".

The 70-year-old spoke for more than an hour, with his address on the closing night of the party convention marking his highest-profile opportunity yet to heal Republican divisions and show voters he is prepared for the presidency.

Republican convention centre, full (AP)

Ever the showman, he fed off the energy of the crowd, stepping back to soak in applause and joining the delegates as they chanted: "U-S-A."

Trump declared the nation's problems too big to be fixed within the confines of traditional politics.

"I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves," he told delegates in Cleveland, Ohio.

As the crowd, fiercely opposed to Clinton, broke out in its usual chant of "lock her up", he declared: "Let's defeat her in November."

He accused Clinton of "terrible, terrible crimes" and said her greatest achievement may have been avoiding prison for her use of a private email and personal server as secretary of state.

Hilary Clinton in a blue jacket stands in front of an American flag (Andrew Harnik/AP)
(Andrew Harnik/AP)

The speech was strikingly dark for a celebratory event and almost entirely lacking in specific policy details. Trump shouted throughout as he read off a teleprompter, showing few flashes of humour or even a smile.

In a direct appeal to Americans shaken by a summer of violence at home and around the world, Trump promised that if he takes office in January, "safety will be restored".

As he moves into the general election campaign, he is sticking to his most controversial proposals, including building a wall along the entire US-Mexico border and suspending immigration from nations "compromised by terrorism".

Trump had earlier sparked questions about his Oval Office readiness by suggesting in an interview that the US might not defend America's Nato partners with him as president.

The remarks deviate from decades of American policy and seem to reject the 67-year-old alliance's bedrock principle of collective defence.

Trump reinforced his position in his speech on the convention stage, saying the US has been "picking up the cost" of Nato's defences for too long.

Donald Trump points at a flag (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

He had promised to describe "major, major" tax cuts. But his economic proposals were vague, with unspecified plans to create millions of jobs.

He promised a "simplified" tax system for the middle class and businesses, fewer regulations and renegotiation of trade deals that he says have put working class Americans at a disadvantage.