How Trump’s #NeverTrump adversaries lost it all in Cleveland

The campaign and RNC left nothing to chance. As they exited the meeting, campaign officials encouraged all the delegates present to put their cell phone numbers on a list to receive text messages throughout the Rules Committee meeting instructing them how to vote on every single amendment and motion.

Indeed, Cuccinelli and his band of insurgents so spooked the Trump campaign and the RNC that it forced the two to coordinate more closely than ever before, fostering a tighter partnership between the candidate and the party leadership he and his team once deeply distrusted.

“It was the first time where the Trump operation and the RNC operation en masse melded as one,” said another source in the room, who called it a “watershed” moment of cooperation.

That preparation ensured that the RNC would enter negotiations with a dominant upper hand. Cuccinelli would struggle to get even limited support for his favored proposals without cutting a deal with the party.