The leader of the Donald Trump campaign in Mississippi said either the state Republican Party chairman or the governor should resign over inflammatory text messages that suggested shenanagins in the delegate selection process.
Mitch Tyner, the state chairman for Trump, Friday morning on the Gallo Radio Show said Chairman Joe Nosef said he would use law enforcement to kick out people of the convention who didn't agree with the party regulars. Trump has been running as an outsider and Tyner also represented state Sen. Chris McDaniel when he challenged the GOP primary results when he lost the U.S. Senate nomination to incumbent Thad Cochran.
"Either the governor authorized it and probably the governor should resign if he did that, and if he didn't authorize it, then the governor ought to be calling for Joe Nosef's resignation," Tyner said.
The governor's office said no decision has been made on security for the convention.
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"The decision whether to have law enforcement present, and the depth of that presence, is made by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction," said Clay Chandler, Bryant's director of communications. "That decision has not been made, although law enforcement is normally present when federal and state officials are involved in activity where large crowds are gathered."
The text messages were first reported by LifeZette, a webite run by talk show host Laura Ingraham.
“The bottom line is is [sic] I told you this can happen one of two ways,” Nosef’s text said. Either “we work together and include people that we trust and also happen to be Trump and Cruz supporters or we just put whoever we want on there have a big fight and end up in the contest committee in Cleveland. And like I told you, I can promise my cousin and anybody else if they even so much as raise their voice they’re going to be outside in the parking lot and they won’t be back in and, no, I won’t be removing them — somebody with a gun and a badge will be.”
Tyner said Nosef has led him to believe he had the governor's backing.
"I don't know if he had the authority from the governor but that's certainly what he represented to me," he said on the radio show.
Tyner said Trump several times across the country won primaries only to have the delegates awarded to Trump supplanted by delegates that were committed to voting for Trump at the Republican National Convention only on the first ballot. There has been talk among Republicans of trying to end the Trump campaign at a brokered convention and instead elect a more mainstream candidate, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
"I'm surprised the governor hasn't gone on and addressed this," Tyner said. "If the governor authorized that, that's an improper use of law enforcment."
"We've heard we're the most corrupt state in the country but to hear it play out like this is just incredible," Tyner said. "Eventually, he said, they're going to use a gun and a badge to get their way."
Tyner said he got the message from Nosef "multiple times before he put it in writing. And I couldn't believe as a trial lawyer he put it in writing."
"This is the exact type of rigging we don't want," he said. "We want transparency."
When the messages surface earlier this week, Nosef said they were being misrepresented.
“This angle and this story is the opposite of the truth. I was expressing frustration because the two campaigns' local leadership had no interest in working with us to ensure THEY didn’t end up in Cleveland in a delegate fight with each other about delegates.
“Secondly, the part about security at the state convention is there because our people deserve and expect that we will have a professional, secure environment. No one will use our state convention to grandstand or try to intimidate people into voting a certain way. We owe it to our people for them to be safe.”