Trump supports the North Carolina GOP chair and Lara Trump to lead the RNC.

Former President Donald Trump has announced his endorsements for the leadership of the Republican National Committee (RNC), a move that will bring significant changes to the current leadership of the GOP. Trump has thrown his support behind Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, to serve as the RNC chairman, and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump to serve as co-chair. This would mark Lara Trump’s first leadership position within the party. Additionally, Trump has asked his senior campaign advisor, Chris LaCivita, to join the RNC as Chief Operating Officer.

In a statement released Monday night, Trump praised the trio as “highly talented, battle-tested, and smart,” and gave them his “complete and total endorsement” to lead the RNC. This shakeup comes at a time when the party is facing low fundraising numbers and underperformance in recent national elections under the leadership of Ronna McDaniel, the current RNC chair. McDaniel has held the position since 2017 and was just re-elected for a fourth term in January.

The RNC had its worst fundraising year in a decade in 2023 and entered 2024 with only $8 million in its coffers, the lowest amount since 2014, according to FEC reports. Last week, McDaniel met with Trump at his home in Mar-a-Lago, where sources say she assured him that she is a “team player” and will do what is best for the party, including stepping down as chair. After the meeting, Trump announced that he would make a decision about the future of the RNC leadership after the South Carolina primary on February 24th.

According to sources, Trump considered tapping Whatley to lead the RNC, a move that was first reported by The New York Times. Whatley has echoed Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud in the 2020 election, stating in a North Carolina radio interview that “we do know there was massive fraud that took place.” He currently serves as the RNC’s general counsel, focusing on “election integrity” efforts.

Lara Trump, who is married to Trump’s son Eric, was a prominent figure on the campaign trail before the Iowa caucus and was even considered as a potential candidate for the North Carolina Senate seat in the 2022 midterm elections. LaCivita is a seasoned Republican operative who has worked on various state and federal campaigns, including Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential run. He previously served as a senior strategist for the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc. before joining Trump’s re-election campaign in 2022.  

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