CLEVELAND – A Utah delegate at the Republican National Convention says she was threatened Monday night inside one of the venue’s bathrooms, after her delegation led an effort to challenge Donald Trump’s presidential nomination.
“I … came out of my stall, and there I was confronted by two women,” said at-large delegate Kera Birkeland, according to her account on Facebook of the incident. “They yelled at me, called me names. They said I should die.”
The incident, as reported first by the Salt Lake City Tribune, followed an uproar on the convention floor when delegates objected to convention rules that would smooth the way for Trump's nomination.
The attempt was led by the Utah delegation.
But Birkeland insists she isn't part of the Never Trump movement that has persisted through the election season. And she said the failed push Monday for a roll-call vote on the rules wasn’t about Trump, just an attempt to make the national Republican Party more transparent.
She said the two female Trump supporters in the bathroom of the Quicken Loans Arena said police protection should be pulled from the Utah delegation “and that we should all die.”
“It shook me at first,” said Birkeland, who apparently did not report the incident to police. “I came out of the bathroom crying.”
Utah Delegation Chairman Phil Wright, who helped lead the effort to overturn the rules, condemned Birkeland’s treatment, suggesting it was against the law and arguing political disagreements should never escalate like that.
"Obviously, that's a horrible thing for anyone to say," Wright told the Tribune. "That's a legal issue when someone is threatened."
The newspaper also reported a second Utah delegate was threatened. Delegate Stefani Stone Williams reportedly received an email from Carl Paladino, the co-chairman of Trump's New York campaign, saying she should be "hung for treason" for being part of the effort to try to use the rules to vote for a candidate other than Trump, the paper reported.
"You should be hung [sic] for treason Stefani," Paladino purportedly wrote. "There will not be a Republican Party if you attempt to replace Trump. I'll be in your face in Cleveland."