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Updated February 13th, 2024 at 09:30 IST

US Elections: Trump Backs Loyalists to Lead Republican National Committee

The former president's endorsements come on the heels of escalating public criticisms of McDaniel, following the RNC's dismal fundraising performance in 2023.

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Former US President Donald Trump. | Image:AP
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Former President Donald Trump has thrown his weight behind a trio of loyalists to assume leadership roles within the Republican National Committee (RNC), signaling a potential shake-up in the party's top ranks.

In a move aimed at exerting greater control over the RNC, Trump endorsed Michael Whatley, chair of the North Carolina GOP, to potentially take the reins as the next leader of the committee should current chairwoman Ronna McDaniel step down. Additionally, Trump threw his support behind his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for co-chair, and his campaign senior adviser, Chris LaCivita, to effectively serve as chief operating officer (COO).

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Here is what you need to know

The former president's endorsements come on the heels of escalating public criticisms of McDaniel, following the RNC's dismal fundraising performance in 2023, marking its worst year in nearly a decade. Trump's push to install his allies in key positions underscores his desire for greater influence within the RNC as the party gears up for the approaching general election.

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Whatley, a staunch supporter of Trump who has echoed the former president's baseless claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, is poised to play a pivotal role in Trump's strategy to bolster the RNC's performance and efficacy, as per a report from Axios.

Trump stresses the importance of a cohesive party apparatus 

"The RNC MUST be a good partner in the Presidential election. It must do the work we expect from the national Party and do it flawlessly," Trump asserted in a statement, emphasizing the importance of a cohesive and effective party apparatus.

With the RNC reporting lackluster fundraising figures and a dwindling cash reserve, Trump's endorsement of his loyalists comes as part of a broader effort to revitalize the committee's operations and bolster its financial standing. The former president's support for changes within the RNC, articulated through his social media platform Truth Social, underscores his determination to shape the party's trajectory following the upcoming South Carolina primary on February 24.

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How has the RNC responded? 

In response to Trump's endorsements, a spokesperson for the RNC affirmed that Chairwoman McDaniel remains committed to supporting Republican candidates across the board, emphasizing her dedication to defeating President Biden and Democrats in the upcoming fall elections.

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As Trump positions his loyalists for potential leadership roles within the RNC, the party braces for a period of potential upheaval and transformation under the former president's influence.

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Published February 13th, 2024 at 09:30 IST

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