The Republican National Committee has privately laid out its first move to counter the #nevertrump movement.
The closed-door strategy session was held Tuesday in Cleveland, CNBC has learned.
RNC General Counsel John Ryder presented committee members with a "legal opinion" on why the delegates should be bound on the first ballot. RNC members told CNBC attendees erupted in applause after the presentation. Ryder told members his staff would be distributing the legal opinion this week.
Diana Orrock, RNC Nevada chairwoman and member of the convention rules committee, said Ryder told the meeting the requirement to keep delegates bound to the candidates they had promised to back will stand, as will rules for those designated as unbound delegates. For example, states like North Dakota where delegates are unbound will continue to be unbound, said Orrock. "These are the rules and they have always been the rules and they should be applied," she said.
The RNC did not respond to CNBC's request for a comment on the meeting.
According to the RNC delegate list obtained by CNBC, North Dakota's Curly Haugland, an RNC member and a member of the rules committee, invited several members of the Delegates Unbound super PAC to attend the RNC meetings. Included on his sponsored delegate list were Gary Emineth, who like Haugland is an unbound North Dakota delegate; former New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey; and Regina Thompson, a Delegates Unbound co-founder and Colorado delegate and Sen. Ted Cruz supporter.