- "You should be hung for treason Stefani," the email said.
- Paladino stood behind his original email
Paladino sent an email to Utah delegate Stefani Williams telling her she should be "hung for treason" last week, according to a copy forwarded by Williams to CNN and first posted on Renew America
. The email came after Williams posted an open letter
on the conservative grassroots advocacy group's website calling on delegates to "dump Trump."
"You should be hung for treason Stefani. There will not be a Republican Party if you attempt to replace Trump. I'll be in your face in Cleveland," the email said.
Paladino, a Buffalo businessman who unsuccessfully ran for New York governor in 2010 and has been an outspoken supporter of Trump and co-chaired his New York campaign, was reacting to the effort by some delegates to deny Trump the nomination by voting for someone else despite primary results. That plan was designed to attempt to deny him the majority he would need to clinch the nomination. The effort was dealt a resounding defeat late Thursday night at the RNC Rules Committee.
Reached by CNN to comment on the email to Williams, Paladino stood behind his original note -- calling the threat of hanging and being "in your face" a "colloquialism."
"What the person was proposing is to encourage violation of the rules of the Republican Party under which Donald Trump rose legally to be the presumptive candidate," Paladino emailed CNN. "The person is being treacherous to the party in doing so and as such the colloquialism is appropriate -- and if the person's underwear is all bunched up over his or her sensitivity to my reaction, then tell the person if he or she can't take the heat of what he or she dished out, then get out of the kitchen."
The Trump campaign had no comment on Paladino's words.
It's not the first time the brash businessman has stepped into controversy. Earlier this month, an ill-formed tweet
from Paladino's staff, which was deleted, looked like it was calling for the lynching of Attorney General Loretta Lynch. During Paladino's gubernatorial bid in 2010, he also faced
scrutiny for explicit and racist emails he apparently sent to friends.