Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says John Kasich is making a ‘big mistake’

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CLEVELAND (AP): The Latest on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (EDT):

8:06 a.m.

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says Ohio Gov. John Kasich is making a “big mistake” by skipping the Republican National Convention that kicks off in Cleveland on Monday.

Paul Manafort says in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Kasich is “hurting his state, he’s embarrassing his state, frankly” by skipping the four-day event convened to nominate Trump for president.

Kasich is one of a number of prominent Republicans who won’t be attending. They include former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and the party’s two most recent presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney. An unusually high number of GOP senators and House members are skipping the event, too.

But Manafort insists the number of holdouts has been overstated. He says, “most of the Republicans who aren’t coming are people who have been part of the past.”

7:44 a.m.

Republican Donald Trump is making an early, surprise visit to Cleveland Monday to catch his wife’s speech at the Republican National Convention.

Trump says in a phone interview with “Fox & Friends” that he’d “love to be there when my wife speaks.”

The GOP nominee-to-be adds that Melania Trump’s evening speech will be about “love of the country” as an immigrant.

Trump also says he’s eager to take an early look at the convention hall’s stage design as the GOP gathering kicks off in Cleveland on Monday.

Trump is scheduled to deliver his own speech Thursday on the convention’s final night.

7:05 a.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is disappointed but has “no discontent” over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s decision to choose someone else as his running mate.

Christie told reporters Sunday night that he didn’t lobby for the position and was honored to be considered. Trump on Friday chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence after a vetting process that also included New Jersey’s Republican governor.

Christie gave his first public comments since Trump’s decision after a private speech Sunday at a hotel near where Republicans are gathering for this week’s convention in Cleveland.

He says he has been friends with Trump for 15 years and this is “just another one of those steps along our friendship and a hard decision for him to make, and he made what he thought was the best decision.”

RELATED: Roll Call: Donald Trump names Mike Pence as vice president pick

3:25 a.m.

The Republican National Convention is set to kick off as the nation reels from another deadly shooting and dissident delegates stage a longshot, last-gasp effort to deny Donald Trump the GOP nomination for president.

It is Trump’s moment – a week that few could have imagined when the New York billionaire entered the race a year ago.

Yet the delegate rebellion is likely to underline how divisive Trump has been. Delegates vote on the rules that will govern the convention week, and insurgent delegates said they would try to force a state-by-state vote – a move that could disrupt floor proceedings even if they fail.

Trump’s opponents want to change a rule that requires delegates to vote for the candidate to whom they were committed after state primaries and caucuses.

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