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Trump tightens control over GOP – Politico

The former president’s allies and family now occupy key positions on the Republican National Committee

Former US President Donald Trump has taken charge of the Republican National Committee (RNC), installing his daughter-in-law and political allies in senior leadership roles and, according to Politico, firing dozens of staffers. The swift takeover ensures that the party’s manpower and funding will be entirely directed toward his election campaign.

Michael Whatley, a senior party official in North Carolina, and Lara Trump were voted in as the RNC’s new chair and co-chair on Friday, following the resignation of Ronna McDaniel. Trump had accused McDaniel of bungling the 2022 midterm elections and failing to sufficiently back his claims of fraud after the 2020 presidential election, and endorsed Whatley to take her position in February.

Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita was named as the RNC’s new chief of staff, and the committee also voted to recognize the former president as the party’s nominee to take on President Joe Biden this November.

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In his acceptance speech, Whatley said that the RNC will work “hand in glove” with the Trump campaign over the next eight months to mobilize voters and prevent voter fraud.

While the Republican and Democratic national committees typically back whichever candidate secures their party’s nomination, Trump has yet to secure the support of enough Republican delegates to formally clinch the title. However, Trump has won 1,078 out of the 1,215 delegates needed for nomination, and with no primary challengers remaining after Nikki Haley bowed out of the race last week, he is all but certain to be picked when the Republican National Convention is held in July.

Trump’s reshaping of the RNC continued on Monday, with Politico reporting the firing of more than 60 McDaniel-era staffers, including the heads of the political, communications, and data departments. According to a report by the New York Times, the RNC’s finance and digital teams will be moved to Palm Beach, Florida, to bring them closer to the Trump campaign’s base.

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Under McDaniel, the RNC consistently failed to match the fundraising power of the Democratic National Committee. As of the end of December, the RNC had around $8 million cash on hand, roughly a third as much as the DNC’s war chest, Politico noted.

Before dropping out of the race last week, Haley warned that Trump would likely use the RNC’s funds to pay his mounting legal bills. “I don’t want the RNC to become his piggy bank for his personal court cases,” she told CNN last month. Lara Trump has refused to say whether she would allow RNC funds to be used for this purpose, but told reporters that the former president’s supporters had “a big interest” in the cases against him.


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