At a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unleashed a rhetorical hailstorm against what he perceived to be a coup attempt by disgruntled GOP insiders. This “insurgent group,” as Trump called it, was the prime target of the real estate mogul’s anger.
“Now you have a couple of guys that were badly defeated and they’re trying to organize maybe like a little bit of a delegate revolt,” he stated. “I thought they already tried that.”
Simultaneously taking the threat of a convention coup seriously and dismissing it as a fabrication, Trump slammed his favorite punching bag, the “media,” for supposedly creating the illusion of dissent within Republican ranks.
“It’s all made up by the press,” he explained. “It’s a hoax, I’m telling you.”
At the same time, Trump facetiously speculated about the futility of a conservative alternative. “Who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. But I don’t mean beat – I beat the hell out of them,” the billionaire businessman asked rhetorically.
Hellbent on punishing betrayal, Trump at one point suggested that he would stop fundraising for the GOP if party elites didn’t get all their members in line. The Republican National Committee has yet to issue a comment on the threat.
While some Congressional Republicans have been toying with the idea of a convention coup, there’s little possibility that such a power play will happen. And even if it does, it’s unlikely that a party insurrection can override popular mandate.