UPDATE: On Saturday, the Donald Trump campaign told NBC they were responsible for barring Paul Nehlen from entering the rally, not the Wisconsin GOP.
Paul Nehlen, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Republican primary challenger, claims he was ejected by Wisconsin GOP staffers from a Donald Trump rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin Friday night.
Nehlen was able to enter the premises of the rally before being urged to leave by individuals affiliated with the state party organization, according to his campaign. A Nehlen spokesman told The Daily Caller the Trump campaign had reached out and invited the congressional candidate to attend the rally earlier Friday.
Trump went on to endorse Speaker Ryan at the rally, as well as Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte in their respective primaries. The move is seen as a reversal from Trump’s comments Tuesday in which he praised Nehlen and refused to endorse Ryan in the Wisconsin congressional primary.
While Nehlen was not allowed to remain at the event, Ryan had made it known he would not be attending the Green Bay rally earlier in the week. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson — who’s currently in a bitter general election — also did not attend the event with Trump.
Nehlen issued a statement to The Daily Caller late Friday on his ejection from the rally, which he blames on Ryan’s campaign and Wisconsin GOP leaders.
Today I was extended an invitation by the Donald Trump campaign to join his team in the VIP room prior to Mr. Trump’s rally. I accepted the campaign’s invitation and drove to Green Bay.
Just like any member of the public invited to the Trump rally, I also had a ticket I registered for online which granted me access to the rally.
I was happy to attend the rally, even in the face of reports that Mr. Trump would endorse Speaker Ryan, because I believe Mr. Trump understands that we must have all hands on deck in order to roll back 8 years of Barack Obama and prevent Hillary from continuing his legacy.
Sadly, it quickly became apparent that Speaker Ryan and the Wisconsin GOP are not the least bit interested in party unity, or, it seems, defeating Hillary Clinton, but rather, are focused on maintaining their iron-grip on power for power’s sake.
To that point, Speaker Ryan and Wisconsin GOP leaders loudly refused to attend Mr. Trump’s rally!
Upon arriving at the rally, my team and I were intercepted by a phalanx of Wisconsin GOP staffers working on behalf of Speaker Ryan and Reince Priebus.
I made it through security when one of the GOP phalanx wearing loafers and a blazer chased me down and informed the police that I was not allowed into the rally.
The GOP staffer then escorted me back outside the security perimeter to the lobby, where another Republican staffer told me and the officers I was to wait for one of their fellow GOP staffers to come and tell me what was going on.
It quickly became clear they were never going to send another staffer to tell me what was going on.
The obvious reality was that they just didn’t want Speaker Ryan’s challenger to be seen in the building supporting Mr. Trump.
I was then told by the staffers that I was going to have to exit the building.
My takeaway from this experience was this: The Wisconsin GOP is petrified.
They are petrified that 83 percent of the vote in the presidential primary went to the two outsider candidates. They’re petrified that the people in Wisconsin have had enough of their corruption and cronyism – of the GOP selling Wisconsin’s future across the Pacific.
Paul Ryan and his Wisconsin GOP henchmen don’t want the good people of Wisconsin to know they have a choice in the primary in Wisconsin’s first Congressional District, and they will do anything to hold onto their levers of power so they can continue to enrich themselves and their donor-class friends by shipping Wisconsin’s jobs overseas and inviting a constant stream of low-paid labor across the border.