It’s been said that President-elect Donald Trump “sometimes forgives, but never forgets” when it comes to personal slights. Trump fought hard for Colorado, both during the Republican presidential primary and the general election, but he came up empty both times–a fact that has some local stakeholders worried Colorado might be neglected (or worse) by Trump’s Executive Branch in coming years.
But it’s safe to say Trump is more upset with the Colorado Republican Party than with the state as a whole, and there’s a good reason–and no, we’re not talking about all the local Republicans who jumped on the bandwagon against Trump in October. In the weeks leading up to the state party’s convention in Colorado Springs on April 9th, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz had engineered a sweep of the state’s delegation to the Republican National Convention. Trump, who consistently asserted that the entire nominating and election process was rigged right up to the moment he won, cried foul:
The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2016
The proof for Trump and his supporters of treachery in the Centennial State had come in a Tweet the night before from the official account of the Colorado Republican Party, quickly deleted but nothing short of damning in its content:
Needless to say, as Trump consolidated his victory in the Republican primary over the next few months, this evidence of brazen collusion with one presidential candidate in Colorado’s Republican caucuses left Colorado GOP chairman Steve House in a very dicey spot! House, as our readers will remember, was the subject of a hugely embarrassing “palace coup” attempt against him led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman that involved allegations of blackmail. The underlying fault lines within the party that precipitated from that bout of high drama have never healed, and House can’t claim anything like unity under his banner as party chairman today.
House responded to the #NeverTrump controversy by categorically denying that anyone with authorized access had sent it. Unfortunately, House then made a fool of himself supposedly trying to “uncover” the sender, in the process disclosing that their previous claims to know the IP address of the sender were false. The final punchline came on Election Day, when the Colorado GOP quietly filed to dismiss their stillborn lawsuit–only reported weeks later to the public after a reporter got around to asking.
In all likelihood, we’ll never know who announced to the world at the worst possible moment from the party’s official mouthpiece that the Colorado Republican Party had pulled a fast one on Donald Trump. Maybe it was outside sabotage? Maybe it was somebody with authorized access who had a couple too many victory shots? Maybe it was House himself, in a moment of “IDGAF” candor he quickly regretted?
We’ll never know. But our vengeful new President most likely knows everything he needs to.