***SEE UPDATE BELOW: Comments from Everett (who calls for Rapert to apologize) and Rapert (who has no interest in doing so).***
, we mentioned footage making the rounds of Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert
arguing with a Colorado delegate last night (who turns out to be state Rep. Justin Everett
). The spat, indicative of the GOP civil war, was over whether to back Donald Trump (and the refusal of Ted Cruz to endorse him). Everett, a Cruz delegate, is skeptical of Trump, while Rapert believes it's time to rally around the Donald. A longer video snippet of the tiff is above, posted by another reporter. It's all pretty mild in the footage that's been posted, though Rapert took to social media to complain of being "accosted."
Everett, however, claims that he was stepping in after Rapert bullied another delegate, state Rep. Lori Saine
(see Evertt's tweets about the matter below).
: I spoke with Everett, who told me that Rapert approached Saine, a previous acquaintance, and was inappropriately aggressive.
“He got in her face and started preaching to her,” he said. When Saine tried to respond, “he started getting elevated and started getting louder and louder and louder, until he was literally yelling at her about not being a good Christian and not having values [because she was reluctant to support Trump].” Everett said that in fact he and Saine were part of a conservative Christian coalition of Colorado lawmakers.
Watching Rapert interact with Saine, Everett became concerned: “Lori doesn’t back down but you could see her body language, kind of leaning back, trying to get some distance. I've never seen her do that.” He said it was “inappropriate” for Rapert to behave in that manner, “especially to a woman half your size.” Rapert was “trying to badger her and bully her,” Everett said. “He was being overly inappropriate and aggressive with Rep. Saine, and she’s 5’3. It was obvious to everyone. That’s not how you treat people and that’s not how you treat women.”
Everett said that Rapert owed Saine an apology. "Lori's a very devout Christian and can match anybody scripture for scripture," he said. "It was clear that he was not used to getting challenged, that he was used to getting his way and trying to overpower people verbally. Somebody who is half his size was challenging him and he started getting in her face, leaning in, and trying to get her to back down and yell over her. It was horrible. If you're raised as a gentleman, it's not something you do."
"It was highly inappropriate and I would hope that he would issue an apology to Rep. Saine," Everett said.
Rapert had a different take. When I alerted him to Evertt’s tweets (see below), he responded, “funny.” He followed up: “Nutshell: Overzealous #NeverTrump delegate accosts me. Same group that stormed out of convention. I'm for beating Hillary. The end.”
Asked about Everett’s request for an apology, Rapert responded, “I don't put up with bad manners from anyone - Democrats, Republicans, reporters or NeverTrump Zealots included. #Honor.”