Building on the worst two week-period of his campaign, Donald Trump took to Twitter overnight to implore his Tennessean supporters to rise up, raging that the state’s Republican Party was “trying to steal” his delegates and urging them to crash a party meeting on Saturday morning to stop them – “We won the votes. They are trying to steal them. I can’t believe I am writing this. But the Tennessee Republican Party wants to steal your vote TOMORROW.” As Politico reports Establishment leaders, alarmed by an intensifying backlash, have hired extra security for the event.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Trump, as The Establishment’s full court press has narrowed his lead over Cruz…
And now he is fighting back as Politico reports, Tennesse GOP establishmentarians prepare to assign delegates for a state he won strongly,
Morris urged supporters to crash the party’s 10 a.m. Saturday executive committee meeting by arriving a half-hour in advance. “There is a small group of Tennessee establishment insiders pulling a fast one. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN,” he wrote.
Party leaders, alarmed by an intensifying backlash throughout the night, have hired extra security for the event — which party chairman Ryan Haynes noted had been scheduled to take place in a small, unsecured conference room — and they’re considering canceling the event altogether.
“We’ve seen what’s happened at other events around the country,” Haynes said, referencing spurts of violence at some Trump campaign rallies. “The last thing we’d want to see is something get disorderly.”
Added Haynes, “We’ve been in contact with individuals in law enforcement here in Tennessee.”
The skirmish is the latest in the increasingly fierce battle for delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
At issue are the state’s 14 at-large delegates that were not assigned in the March 1 primary but are set to be selected by the party’s executive committee. Trump won the Tennessee primary and many of the delegates were directly elected at that time. Morris wrote that Trump’s campaign had struck a deal with party leaders on Wednesday to fill the remaining at-large slots with Trump’s share of the vote.
Haynes said Morris exploded earlier in the week when the party informed the campaign they’d only get six of their seven delegate choices at Saturday’s meeting. Tennessee’s GOP rules give the party the ultimate authority to name delegates, though it usually accepts input from the campaigns.
“They informed us that they did not care about party procedures. They don’t care about the Republican Party,” Haynes said.
Haynes added that on Friday, the list of delegates changed again and only four of Trump’s original seven requests were included, prompting Morris’ scathing call to supporters.
“The State Party Chairman, Ryan Haynes, agreed to that ON WEDNESDAY,” Morris wrote. “Those pulling his puppet strings changed his mind and now apparently he wants to appoint delegates representing candidates who don’t support Donald Trump and WHO DID NOT RECEIVE ANY ALLOCATED DELEGATES on March 1.”
One state executive committee member, Scott Smith, rebutted the Trump campaign’s allegations in an email, saying that the root of the conflict is the fact that some of Trump’s Tennessee supporters “depend on threats, manipulation, outlandish accusations and behavior.”
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