The Wisconsin primary election this Tuesday will determine whether House Speaker Paul Ryan loses his congressional seat, or stays in the running for the general election, and his challenger, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, is leaving no stone unturned.
Nehlen, who has endorsed Donald Trump, drove to Green Bay, Wisconsin Friday to attend the rally where Trump would be speaking. What happened when he got there shocked Nehlen and his campaign staff – he never made it inside the arena. After going through security, Nehlen says he was stopped by Wisconsin GOP staffers and ejected from the event.
Nehlen explained what occurred when he arrived at the rally in Green Bay:
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.
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.
At the rally in Green Bay, Donald Trump endorsed Paul Ryan, instead of Nehlen. Nehlen isn’t bothered – he is still standing by Trump, he said in an interview with CNN, and said he understands Trump did this to bring unity to the GOP.
Governor Mike Pence endorsed Paul Ryan on Wednesday.
According to the source with the Nehlen campaign, Pence’s endorsement of Ryan has actually helped Nehlen. As soon as news of the endorsement hit, donations started pouring into the Nehlen campaign from all over the country, with a total of $200,000 received so far.
UPDATE: An adviser with the Trump campaign clarified that they would never turn anyone away from a rally just because they didn’t have a printed ticket, and they are unaware why some news media sources are reporting that the Trump campaign turned Nehlen away. Nehlen’s story confirms it was not the Trump staff, but GOP officials who escorted him out.