Sources tell Breitbart News that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus flew to Nevada on Monday night in order to persuade Nevada Republican National Committeeman James Smack to drop his support for RNC Chair challenger Mark Willis from Maine. Previously, Smack and National Committeewoman Diana Orrock had promised to support Willis in his bid for chair, giving him the second of three states he needs to have his named place in nomination.
The meeting took place in Las Vegas around 8:30 pm Monday night. In addition to Priebus and Smack, Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald was in attendance, according to sources. Nevada National Committeewoman Orrock was not in attendance at the meeting. She confirms to Breitbart News that she continues to support Willis’ bid to be placed on the RNC Chair ballot.
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed to Breitbart News that RNC Chair Priebus met with Nevada Republican Party officials on Monday. According to Spicer, Priebus was summoned to Nevada by Nevada Republican Party officials to discuss the future of the party and the state party’s finances. Priebus, knowing that his re-election to the RNC Chair position would come up during the meeting, paid for the trip out of funds from his re-election committee fund, not RNC funds, and went alone on the trip without any RNC aides.
At a dinner in Charlotte, North Carolina at Fleming’s restaurant on Tuesday night, Priebus confirmed to Nevada Republican National Committewoman Diana Orrock that he flew to Nevada on Monday. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Orrock first described what she knew of Priebus’ last minute trip to Las Vegas:
I was not in Nevada on Monday, I was in Pittsburgh. I traveled from Pittsburgh to Charlotte on Tuesday. I had found out over the weekend from James Smack that Reince Priebus was planning a trip to Nevada on Monday night. I don’t know what transpired at the meeting. James drove down to Las Vegas from northern Nevada on Monday so he and Michael McDonald, the State Party Chairman, could meet with Reince in Las Vegas that night.
Reince had said he wanted to make things right in Nevada. In my mind that was in reference to giving the state the financial resources it needs to actually get Republicans elected to office, because the state party has been circumvented by the national party in the past.
Orrock then went on to describe her conversation with Priebus on Tuesday night when he confirmed his trip to Las Vegas the previous evening:
When I was at the dinner at Flemings, Reince was shaking hands with everyone. He came over to me and I asked him ‘How was your meeting in Las Vegas Monday night?’ He responded that it was a quick meeting, and it was late.
I told him I was sorry I had missed the meeting, and he didn’t respond, just went on to talk with someone else.
James and I have said we would support Mark Willis to simply give him the opportunity to run against Reince Priebus for RNC Chair. I’m not quite sure what the reluctance of other states to allow such a race.
Monday night was just two days before this annual RNC meeting in Charlotte. Why such an effort to get to Las Vegas to supposedly discuss this rectifying of the wrong done to Nevada and get funding for Nevada from the RNC when he would have seen the bulk of us here at the RNC winter meeting in Charlotte anyways?
Orrock concluded by wondering why Priebus and the Republican establishment is trying so hard to prevent Willis from appearing on the ballot as a challenger to the RNC Chairman:
I’m on the record for supporting Mark Willis’ ability to run.
I don’t have a mind that can be changed. This declaration allowing him to run isn’t a vote for Mark, it’s simply allowing him to go through the process. James Smack is not on record. Why a special trip to Las Vegas at 8:30 pm at night two days before both of us would be here in Charlotte? What was the purpose of that meeting that was so pressing that he needed to make a special trip two days before the winter meeting?
I don’t think Mark has a chance to win the chairmanship because Reince Priebus has gotten more commitments than he needs to be re-elected.
What are they so afraid of ?
If this is truly a party that is for open and fair and transparent elections and processes and they’re willing supposedly to listen to all different schools of thought within the Republican Party then why isn’t this –Mark’s nomination– being allowed to take place?
Breitbart News has emailed and phoned Nevada Republican National Committeeman Smack to learn if he also continues to support Willis, but has received no response.