Politics & Government

Lawsuit: Trump campaign failed to act after NC director pulled a gun on staffer

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in Abingdon, Va.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in Abingdon, Va. Associated Press

A former Charlotte staffer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alleges in a lawsuit that Trump’s then-state director pulled a gun on him, and top campaign officials refused to do anything about it.

Vincent Bordini filed the suit this week in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against Charlottean Earl Phillip and the Trump campaign.

Phillip served for months as Trump’s campaign director in North Carolina, a key battleground state. He was replaced last week, but said he was taking on a new role as deputy chair of Trump’s national diversity coalition.

Bordini, described in the suit as “a passionate Donald J. Trump supporter,” claims to have described the February incident to Trump campaign officials, including then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

He says officials took no action. The Trump campaign did not comment on the suit.

Bordini, 41, claims he was hired by the campaign as a software trainer in December 2015. He says in the suit that he was in South Carolina with Phillip on Feb. 13 during that state’s primary when he rode with Phillip in his Jeep outside Greenville.

“All of a sudden, Vincent saw Phillip pull a gun out from his side of the Jeep,” the suit says. “It was a .45 caliber pistol. It was loaded… Phillip then moved the gun toward Vincent. He pointed it at, and then placed the barrel on, Vincent’s left knee cap…

“Vincent froze. Phillip’s gun was loaded and the safety was off. A bump in the road would likely result in a bullet hole, and worse, in Vincent’s knee. Once the initial shock wore off, Vincent said, ‘What the f--- are you doing?’”

The suit alleges that Bordini learned of “at least four other” people on whom Phillip pulled a gun. He said he alerted Trump campaign staffers, including Lewandowski and Stuart Jolly, Trump’s national field director.

Phillip said Thursday that he’s hired a lawyer. He also said he’s “officially stepped down” from positions in the Trump campaign. Phillip, who was replaced as state director this month by Jason Simmons, is a former director of minority engagement for the N.C. GOP.

Bordini, asked why he filed no criminal charges, said he first tried to handle it through campaign channels. He said he had a “pleasant” conversation with Lewandowski.

“He heard everything and more you read in that complaint,” Bordini said. “He said (he) took this very seriously.”

Speaking at a rally in Wilmington, N.C. on Tuesday, Donald Trump made a comment about "Second Amendment people" having the ability to stop Hillary Clinton's judges. The Clinton campaign called his comments "dangerous." The Trump campaign said he w

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill