Trump Wants to Install New RNC Leadership, Donald Trump wants to alter the leadership of the Republican National Committee to install a new slate of supporters, including his daughter-in-law, at the helm of the GOP’s political machine, even before the former president formally obtains the party’s next presidential nominee.
Trump Wants to Install New RNC Leadership Including His Daughter-in-law as Co-chair
Ronna McDaniel, the current RNC Chair, says she has no intentions to leave the committee until after South Carolina’s primary voting on February 24. Nonetheless, Trump called for McDaniel’s replacement, North Carolina GOP chairman Michael Whatley, on Monday night. Trump suggested that his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, serve as the new co-chair.
Trump’s decision to fire McDaniel, coming only days after the two met at his Mar-a-Lago estate and agreed to postpone a decision on her future, demonstrates his desire to rally Republicans behind him in a potential rematch with President Joe Biden.
While Trump has not yet secured enough delegates to capture the nomination, he is eyeing a potential knockout punch over Nikki Haley, his last major primary foe, in her home state of South Carolina next week.
Trump’s demands center on his erroneous beliefs about voter fraud. Trump has long complained that the RNC is not doing enough to prevent voter fraud, which he erroneously says cost him the 2020 election, even though his election officials, the Justice Department, and many courts found no evidence to back up his accusations.
In his statement, Trump stated that Whatley is “committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our elections so they can’t be stolen.”
According to RNC spokesperson Keith Schipper, McDaniel has no immediate plans to stand aside.
“Chairwoman McDaniel has been on the road, helping elect Republicans up and down the ballot, and she will continue to work hard to defeat Biden this fall.”
Nothing has changed, and there will be no decision or announcement on plans until after South Carolina,” he stated. Even as Haley advised her party against caving to Trump’s demands.
During a campaign stop in South Carolina earlier in the day, Haley turned Trump’s role in the national party’s problems into a tirade against GOP failings, including the party’s failed attempt to impeach the Homeland Security secretary and adopt a broader border security legislation.
“Her party chair post was lost at the Republican National Convention. “The RNC is broke,” Haley told the audience. “And he’s got his fingerprints and all of that.”
Immediately after Trump’s decision, Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney stated that Trump is simply “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” What is Haley’s plan if she is allowed to lead the RNC? She’d “blow it all up,” Ankney claimed, and fire everyone.
McDaniel, the niece of Utah Senator Mitt Romney, was Trump’s hand-picked choice to run the Republican National Committee shortly after his 2016 win.
The 50-year-old from Michigan was a staunch supporter of the previous president and helped reshape the Republican Party’s leadership in his image, but Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement has increasingly blamed her for the party’s struggles in recent national elections.
The campaign’s effective takeover of the RNC would benefit both the committee and Trump’s campaign, at least in theory. The RNC has struggled with fundraising, particularly since Trump attempted to prohibit it from using his name and image to collect funds.
An integration would also attract more dubious party contributors who are still hesitant to contribute directly to Trump’s campaign or super PAC.
Campaign finance records issued last week revealed that the RNC had only $8 million in the bank and $1 million in debt. None of Trump’s leadership demands will be realized without an in-person vote by the Republican National Committee, which is scheduled to gather later this spring.
Under Trump’s preferred arrangement, top adviser Chris LaCivita would continue to oversee the campaign while also serving as the RNC’s chief operations officer.
Whatley, the RNC’s general counsel, would succeed McDaniel. He has paid special attention to the possibility of voter fraud in recent years, taking credit for recruiting a significant number of lawyers ahead of the 2020 election.
Despite receiving Trump’s endorsement, he was unsuccessful in his candidacy for RNC co-chair last year. Lara Trump would then probably take over as the RNC’s number two.
She is married to Trump’s middle son, Eric, and has been heavily involved in all three of her father-in-law’s campaigns. She briefly pondered running for Senate in her native state of North Carolina in 2022, but ultimately opted against it because she wanted to spend more time with her young children. The New York Times first reported that Trump was considering putting Lara Trump at the RNC.
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee spokesperson Alex Floyd stated, “Trump is making it clear that the GOP is the home for insurrectionists and extreme MAGA fanatics.”
“Whatley already threatened our democracy once before when he spread lies about the results of the 2020 election,” Floyd said in a statement. “Now, Trump is rewarding him in just the latest display that democracy will be on the ballot this November.”