Supporters of President Trump Helped to Tie Up Phone Lines on Caucus Night, According to Iowa Democratic Party

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Democratic Party said Thursday afternoon that calls from supporters of President Donald Trump contributed to the high volume of calls that overwhelmed its Iowa Caucus night reporting hotline Monday night. IowaStartingLine.com first reported the problems caused by the amount of phone calls, including “fake calls.”

The party set up the hotline so precinct leaders could call in results or report other problems. Because the app the party used didn’t work properly, some precinct leaders had no choice but to try to use the hotline to report results Monday night. But some complained that they couldn’t get through when they called.

IDP Communications Director Mandy McClure responded Thursday afternoon in a statement concerning the phone calls.

“On Caucus Day, the Iowa Democratic Party experienced an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls to its Caucus hotline, including supporters of President Trump. The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party’s collection of results, but in no way affected the integrity of information gathered or the accuracy of data sets reported.” 

The Trump campaign, told NBC News that it wasn’t affiliated with supporters who called the hotline.

The party said that the hotline received calls from some people who hung up immediately, others who supported President Trump and expressed their displeasure about the party and still others seeking Caucus-related information.

The party said that it had 77 phones set up for Caucus night. That included 45 that could receive phone calls and another 32 phones that volunteers and staff could use to call to get results from precincts.

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