Cleveland will be ready should Donald Trump’s prediction come true of riots at the Republican National Convention if he’s denied the presidential nomination, security officials say. Though the Ohio city won’t say whether Trump’s remarks have it reconsidering security for the July 18-21 gathering, preparations for possible unrest are well under way. The convention is designated a national special-security event, like Pope Francis’s visit last year and the Democrats’ nominating meeting in Philadelphia in July. “It’s going to be a secure event,” said Kevin Dye, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, the lead agency coordinating with federal, state and local law enforcement.
Trump, the billionaire New York developer whose popularity soared after he attacked Mexicans and Muslims, faces the prospect of a convention floor fight if he’s leading in delegates but falls short of a majority. Trump said Wednesday on CNN that he thinks “you’d have riots” if the party denies him the nomination despite a large lead in delegates.
His North Carolina rallies this month drew protesters who at first blended into the crowd, then confronted supporters with signs urging them to reject hatred. He canceled a Chicago appearance last week when confrontations erupted.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, who hopes to win the nomination in a contested convention with Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, called Trump’s language about the event “unacceptable” in a Twitter message Thursday. “This implicit acceptance of violence is the kind of rhetoric that’s pulling people apart,” Kasich tweeted.