Iowa GOP Official Denies Trump Camp Threatened First In Nation Status

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Update: The chairman of the Iowa Republican party is denying claims that the Trump campaign threatened to revoke his state’s first in the nation status. The allegation was made earlier Monday evening by Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia.

“His comments are absolutely not true. I have had other members of the media ask me this same question, and I told them that he is simply trying to embarrass Trump once again. His entire motive in my estimation is to embarrass Trump. It’s not going to work,” Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement to TPM.

The conflicting accounts from Cuccinelli and Kaufmann come hours after the Stop Trump movement managed to disrupt the convention proceedings. In the heated exchanges late in the afternoon, before the primetime schedule began, Cuccinelli threw his credential down on the floor in disgust.

The anti-Trump movement initially claimed that it had signatures from enough state delegations to force a floor vote. But the RNC claimed some delegations votes changed and ruled that the anti-Trump forces fell short of qualifying to force a vote.

Original story below:

CLEVELAND – Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and a major proponent of the stop Trump movement, claimed that the Republican establishment “cheated” Monday afternoon when it refused to give delegates a roll call vote on a convention rule that would have allowed delegates to cast a ballot for whoever they wanted on the convention floor.

CLEVELAND – Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and a major proponent of the stop Trump movement, claimed that the Republican establishment “cheated” Monday afternoon when it refused to give delegates a roll call vote on a convention rule that would have allowed delegates to cast a ballot for whoever they wanted on the convention floor.

In an interview with reporters on the convention floor Monday night, Cuccinelli accused the Trump campaign of threatening states that were pushing for the vote and went as far as to threaten to take away that state of Iowa’s “first in the nation status,” if the state delegation supported the move.

“They were threatening people. They did it in Virginia. They did it in Washington. They did it in D.C. They did it in Maryland. They did in Iowa,” Cuccinelli said. “They threatened Iowa. … The Trump campaign [said] ‘we’ll take away your first in the nation status.”

Cuccinelli said Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann told him about the threat.

“Jeff Kaufmann told me that. Jeff Kaufmann said ‘we’re gonna loose our
first in the nation status. He came over here to harangue me,” Cuccinelli said.

Jeff Kaufmann and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the Trump campaign had tried to downplay the floor scuffle on Monday afternoon, a roll call vote on the rule would have been deeply embarrassing and more clearly revealed the schism in the GOP.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
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