Former President Donald Trump announced a series of endorsements for leadershipMonday night, a decision that will shake up the current leadership of the GOP.
Trump said he supports Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, to lead the RNC as chairman and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair.
This would be Lara Trump’s first leadership position within the party.
Trump also announced that he had asked one of his campaign’s top advisers, Chris LaCivita, to join the RNC to take on the role of director of operations.
“This group of three is very talented, seasoned and intelligent,” Trump wrote in a statement Monday evening. “They have my full and total support to lead the Republican National Committee.”
The shakeup comes amid poor fundraising numbers and party underperformance in recent national elections under the leadership of Ronna McDaniel, the current RNC chair. McDaniel has led the RNC since 2017, andas president in January.
The RNC had its worst fundraising year in a decade and entered 2024 with just $8 million in its coffers, its lowest cash flow since 2014, according to FEC reports.
McDaniel met with Trump last week at his Mar-a-Lago home, where sources told CBS News that McDaniel assured Trump that she was a “team player” and would do what was right. in the best interest of the party, including resigning from her position as president.
After the meeting, Trump announced that he would make a decision on the future of the RNC leadership after the South Carolina primary on February 24.
The New York Times was first to report the news that Trump was considering tapping Whatley to lead the RNC.
Whatley echoed Trump’s unproven claims of fraud following the 2020 election, saying in a North Carolina radio interview that “we know massive fraud took place.” He currently works at the RNC as the group’s general counsel, working on “election integrity” efforts.
Lara Trump, married to Trump’s second son, Eric, featured prominently in Trump’s election campaign ahead of the Iowa caucus and was touted as a candidate for the North Carolina Senate in the midterm cycle of 2022.
LaCivita is a longtime Republican operative who has worked on a number of state and federal campaigns, including Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign. He worked as a senior strategist at the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc. before joining Trump’s 2022 re-election campaign.
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