CLEVELAND, April 22 (UPI) — Ahead of what could be the most emotionally charged party convention in decades — and with some delegates saying they have already received death threats — the U.S. Secret Service is making public its detailed security plans for July’s Republican National Convention.
Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor tells Politico that the convention will have several levels of security and that all facets of the plan have been examined by special subcommittees for more than a year. The Secret Service is the lead agency, but the FBI, Homeland Security, state and local law enforcement will all play a role in securing the convention in Cleveland this summer.
Mainor said everything from multi-level ID checkpoints to ensuring the safety of the drinking water inside Quicken Loans Arena has been examined and planned to the last detail.
Still, the Secret Service acknowledges it cannot possibly monitor every interaction at an event with thousands of attendees, many of whom feel passionately about their preferred candidate.
That argument has spilled over into threats of physical violence, delegates opposed to front-runner Donald Trump told the Chicago Tribune. Colorado’s GOP Chairman Steve House said he has received thousands of calls on his personal cellphone after his state party convention, where Trump’s main rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, managed to sweep the entire state’s delegation.
House said most of the calls were polite and ended in productive conversations, but some included ominous threats against him and his family.
“Shame on people who think it’s right to threaten me and my family over not liking the outcome of an election,” House wrote on Facebook after the threats began.
Cruz complained that Trump and his political adviser, Roger Stone, had threatened delegates who do not remain loyal to Trump after Stone told Alex Jones of Infowars that Trump supporters would track down defectors at their hotel rooms in Cleveland.
The Trump campaign has never overtly encouraged violence or threats, but several Republican Party officials opposed to Trump told Politico they blame the Trump campaign for failing to do more to control supporters who step over the line.
With the prospect looming of a floor fight at the convention, Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere questioned whether the convention would be a fitting place for delegates to bring their families. He said RNC officials have assured them the Secret Service will maintain order, both inside and outside the convention hall.
“A lot of us bring our wives and children. Do we really want to? That’s one of the things that was asked,” Villere said. “They assured us that we would be protected.”