CLEVELAND — Rules Committee meetings at the Republican National Convention were abruptly postponed Thursday morning as different factions fighting over Donald Trump and control of the party huddle privately to work out a deal that could end the effort to block the real estate mogul from winning the nomination.
Scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., RNC officials told reporters the delays — at first until 10 a.m. then to 1 p.m. — were the result of a “broken printer.”
The talks appear to be attempts to strike a deal to prevent an ugly and messy fight over the rules and the question of whether delegates can be unbound — an effort to prevent Trump from clinching the nomination on the first ballot. Talks are also ongoing about an effort by former Ted Cruz delegate director Ken Cuccinelli to change GOP rules to close primaries and caucuses in 2020 from non-Republicans.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has held his cards close to the vest in his role on the Rules Committee, Free The Delegates leader Kendal Unruh, Cuccinelli and other delegates involved in the RNC rules debate were seen in the meeting, later joined by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, two sources said.
As the original meeting continued, Lee and Priebus then snuck out of the room to another huddle.
Trump’s campaign is keeping its distance for the moment. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort said “we’re not involved in it” when asked about the negotiations.