Emails reveal how Trump got stuck in Colorado Springs elevator

Story highlights

  • New emails show that Trump was trapped on the elevator because of an elevator bypass key
  • Trump has slammed fire marshals at his rallies in the past

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump got trapped in an elevator in Colorado Springs because a member of his entourage used an elevator bypass key, but they didn't know how to turn it back on, according to an email from a fire marshal involved with the rescue.

The email, obtained by CNN affiliate Denver7 between the Colorado Springs Fire Department and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (where Trump held his event), laid out the context for Trump's rescue.
    Trump and his entourage were evacuated from the elevator on July 29 before a campaign rally by firefighters, which lowered a ladder into the elevator, allowing them to climb out.
    Denver7 obtained 214 pages of email -- but one email in particular from Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacey responding to a friend who had reached out to him after Trump's visit showed how the incident happened.
    "Thanks for the support... it was funny. You have likely heard more about the elevator fiasco. Turns out someone (Secret Service or his entourage) had an elevator bypass key.. they (one of them) turned it off between floors and didn't know how to get it back on.. our folks went and fished them out... elevator guys get there and say what the crap? Who turned this off? Turned it back on and voila," the email said, according to the Denver7's report.
    The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    After Trump was freed from the elevator, he took the stage at his rally, where he blasted the local fire marshal for shutting off entry to his campaign event due to capacity restrictions.
    "This is why our country doesn't work," Trump said as he slammed the Colorado Springs fire marshal during the rally, moments after the department's firefighters rescued him.
    However, another email exchange between the deputy fire marshal and UCCS shows that Trump was told beforehand about the capacity restrictions of the venue.
    "The occupant load in the Events Center will be limited to a maximum of 1,500 event spectators. There will be 450 spectators for the west bleachers, 750 spectators for the east bleachers, and 300 spectators standing on the Events Center floor. There will be overflow, standing room only, allowed for a maximum of 1,000 spectators in Berger Hall," the email said.
    Another email exchange between Lacey and his friend revealed Trump's campaign was putting pressure on having more people at the event despite the previous agreement for the capacity.
    "We had worked with UCCS of which we have a great relationship with and their security.. (University Cops).... And our PD... and worked out the event loading on Thursday. All was well.. until they wanted more people... Secret Service were butts too... wanted me to let more people in because he (Trump) was threatening to leave the room.. and they hadn't secured the other location," the email said. "So ... we held to the limit (I did grant permission to go 10% over based on administrative controls and moving some barriers), but they did not exercise that ... he just launched on his speech and that was that.
    Trump has been slamming local fire marshals in cities where he's held his rallies. In Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month, Trump unleashed on the local fire marshal, saying at the city official of turned away thousands of supporters without a reason.
    "He ought to be ashamed of himself. They turned away thousands of people," Trump told supporters at his rally.
    The Columbus Fire Department rejected Trump's claims, saying it ensured the event's safety by keeping the crowd size below the 1,000-person capacity for the venue.
    Correction: The headline in a previous version of this story misidentified the city where Donald Trump got trapped in an elevator.