Being a delegate in the heated GOP Primary is a thankless job, and as Donald Trump continues his rhetoric against the rules of the electoral process, it looks like it is getting worse. Several delegates have reported threatening emails, phone calls, and confrontations from Donald Trump supporters. As the dialogue continues about what Trump is calling a “rigged” nomination process, some of his supporters are reacting negatively.
Steve House is the Colorado GOP chairman and receives about 4,000 to 5,000 calls per week. During the course of those conversations, he reports having received several threats from anonymous callers. He reported that the threats began with an email warning him to hide his family and “pray you make it to Cleveland.” House reported to Politico that the threats continued with an anonymous phone call where a man told him to put a gun down his throat. House isn’t the only delegate on the receiving end of threats from people furious with electoral proceedings.
Indiana delegates that have openly opposed Trump have reported receiving ominous threats of “we’re watching you.” However, Indiana State Police have ruled the emails and calls constitute free speech and do not cross the line into criminal threats. Many of these delegates are beginning to place some of the blame on Donald Trump himself for not openly renouncing these intimidation tactics. With the race to 1,237 delegates entering crunch time and a contested convention looking likely, it is bringing out the worst in Trump’s supporters.
The dialogue has been escalated by several of Trump’s closest advisors. Roger Stone has threatened to send Trump supporters to the hotel rooms of delegates that oppose him. Trump’s director of social media Dan Scavarino tweeted a Tennessee GOP chairman’s cellphone number along with a picture that accused him of stealing votes. Stone is also calling for “days of rage” in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention if Trump doesn’t receive the nomination.
Some delegates are blaming the heated rhetoric on the tactics of former campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski. Trump’s convention chief Paul Manafort has encouraged Donald Trump to tone down his bombastic remarks. Donald Trump has vowed to act more presidential as his campaign for presidency continues. However, with the GOP’s first contested convention in nearly 40 years looming on the horizon, the pressure on delegates will likely continue.
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