A proposed deal that would have halted a last-ditch effort by some Republicans on the convention’s Rules Committee to deny Donald Trump the GOP nomination is likely dead, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast. Additionally, despite earlier an earlier report stating that the Republican National Committee offered a deal to make the first four primary contests “closed” in exchange for #NeverTrump activists backing off their efforts to allow delegates to vote their conscience, that proposal was actually brought forth by Ken Cuccinelli, The Daily Beast has learned.
Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia and top adviser to Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, has been spearheading efforts to limit the RNC’s power over presidential nominating contests. One Republican source with direct knowledge of the situation said National Committeeman Steve Duprey, a Rules Committee member from New Hampshire who is against unbinding the delegates, was in the room and rejected Cuccinelli’s proposal “on behalf of all of us” who oppose unbinding the delegates. Duprey was joined by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Mike Lee—who has not endorsed Trump and is thought to favor unbinding the delegates—along with others.
The negotiations took place behind closed doors and delayed the start of the Rules Committee meeting. RNC officials had originally indicated that a printer malfunction caused the delay. The Rules Committee meetings, which are taking place on Thursday and Friday, are viewed as a last stand for Republicans who oppose Trump.