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Charlotte City Council member compared Trump supporters to Ku Klux Klan before RNC announcement

On Friday, the Republican National Committee announced that the 2020 Republican National Convention will be held in Charlotte, N.C. The convention will nominate the GOP's 2020 presidential and vice-presidential candidates, presumptively President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, for re-election.

"I am thrilled to announce Charlotte as the official host city for the 2020 Republican National Convention,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a press statement. “We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party re-nominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to continue fighting for the American people."

The decision by the RNC was unanimous, but the deal was approved by the narrowest of margins in the Charlotte City Council. After three and a half hours of debate earlier this week, in which more than 100 speakers were invited to weigh in on the matter, the Council voted 6-5 to approve permitting the city manager to negotiate contracts with the RNC, the Charlotte Observer reported Monday.

A Democratic member, Larken Egleston, cast the deciding vote in favor of hosting the convention but voiced opposition to President Trump.

“I will not combat the disappointing characteristics of this president by emulating them,” Egleston said. “Hosting the RNC in Charlotte in no way implies our endorsement of this president.”

But another Democrat on the council who voted against bringing the RNC to Charlotte denounced Trump as "dangerous" and compared his supporters to the Ku Klux Klan.

“This president is dangerous,” said Justin Harlow. “I’d no sooner bring Donald Trump and the RNC to Charlotte, to the home that I chose and love where my wife and I are raising our black son, any sooner than I would support a Klan rally in this city. The president may not be a Klansman, but some of his supporters are."

Charlotte's Democratic Mayor Vi Lyles said leading the effort to bring the RNC to her city was "the most difficult decision of my career." On Friday, she reacted positively to the RNC's decision.

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She will not, however, deliver a welcoming address for the RNC delegates, eschewing common practice, according to the Observer.

Charlotte was the host city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention that re-nominated President Barack Obama for president.

Here's full video of the City Council debate:

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