Both the Romney campaign and the state GOP are strongly denying a Buzzfeed report that a power struggle over delegates has threatened state Chairman Ed Cox’s role (to the degree that he’s got one) at the national convention.

Citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation, Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray says Cox, who was recently elected chair of the New York delegation, was threatened by representatives of the Romney camp that he would not be allowed to take the stage at the convention in Tampa unless he capitulated and installed the delegates they had chosen.

An unnamed Republican operative said the Romney reps had plans to “replace Ed Cox as the person with the authority” to introduce the delegation at the convention.

Cox’s chief of staff Tony Casale said the Buzzfeed story “came so far out of left field that I give it very little credibility.” And he suggested some nefarious dirty ticksterism might be afoot.

“Anybody fomenting this is doing a major disservice to Romney,” a clearly angry Casale said. “I’m starting to wonder if it’s coming from Romney or coming from people on the outside, troublemakers….It’s a distraction to the convention and the campaign.”

“A person making accusations ought to come foward and give their name. I don’t believe in unnamed sources – especially when it’s bogus, and this is bogus.”

Casale insisted Romney representatives – specifically Rob Cole, the campaign’s New York political director – were consulted throughout the delegate selection process. Fifty-eight delegates were elected in the state’s April 24 GOP presidential primary from slates put together by the campaign. Then another 34 at large delegates – a list that includes some well-known politicos like ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and ex-Gov. George Pataki – were approved by the state committee during a meeting in Albany in May.

Casale reiterated that “we have heard nothing from anyone in Romney officialdom that they are dissatisfied.” Cole echoed that sentiment, insisting the Buzzfeed story is “not true.”

There’s a lot of protestations here, I know. And GOP sources have informed me (anonymously, much to Casale’s chagrin, I’m sure) that there is some fire here underneath all the smoke.

“It’s my understanding that the Romeny Campaign will put a non-Cox Romney loyalist – (former Staten Island BP Guy) Molinari or (former Rep. Rick) Lazio or one of their minions – on the New York State Credentials Committee because NO ONE trusts either Ed Cox OR Tony Casale…including some of the NY GOP’s own vice chairs,” a GOP operative told me via email earlier today.

“It’s another collective national Republican slap to Cox – who, if you remember, had then-RNC Chair Michael Steele bypass him for funding the NYGOP federal campaigns in 2010, choosing to give money directly to counties on the same precept: No trust. Their rationale at that time was ‘they don’t trust the state chair’s judgment in handling thi.’ Same is true today.”

For what it’s worth, Cole refuted the Credentials Committee stuff, too.