Trump reportedly ready to replace Ronna McDaniel as RNC leader following poor fundraising and losing record

 February 8, 2024

Former President Donald Trump, after several years of defending and supporting Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel amid sustained criticism from a dissatisfied GOP base, now appears to have heeded that outcry and finally turned on his purported ally.

Trump seemed to suggest over the weekend that McDaniel could soon be ousted from her RNC leadership and, per unnamed sources, has already decided who he'd like to see as her replacement -- North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley, the Washington Examiner reported.

Whatley likely gained Trump's favor by helping him win the Tarheel State in 2020, through his support of the efforts to challenge the disputed 2020 results in certain states, and for his championing of state-level efforts to increase election integrity and ballot security to combat fraud.

RNC fundraising falls short under McDaniel

Axios reported that former President Trump appeared to signal on Sunday that a leadership change at the RNC was coming soon amid reports of dismal fundraising results last year under McDaniel -- to say nothing of the string of losing election cycles Republicans have suffered since McDaniel took control of the RNC during Trump's presidency.

Federal Election Commission filings show that the RNC only raised about $87 million in 2023 -- the lowest total amount raised in decades -- and began 2024 with just $8 million in cash on hand.

Comparatively, the Democratic National Committee raised more than $119 million in 2023 and began the new year with around $21 million in cash on hand -- a figure that jumps to $117 million in cash when Democrat-affiliated fundraising committees are added into the results.

Trump says there'll "probably be some changes made" to RNC leadership

The Hill reported that former President Trump, during an appearance on "Sunday Morning Futures" with host Maria Bartiromo, was asked about the RNC's poor fundraising numbers for 2023 and initially sought to both distance himself from the party organization and assert that GOP donors were giving money to him instead of the RNC.

"I have a lot of money. And the money that they get, people are not looking at the RNC," Trump said. "They want -- they want changes. I -- you have to understand, I have nothing to do with the RNC. I don’t -- I’m separate."

Bartiromo pressed the matter and directly asked the former president for his thoughts on the job McDaniel has done during her tenure at the helm of the RNC. Trump referenced McDaniel's prior position as head of the Michigan GOP and replied, "I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did OK initially in the RNC," but added, "I would say, right now, there will probably be some changes made."

Sources say Trump has made his choice on McDaniel's replacement

That bombshell about impending "changes" at the RNC was reiterated by Trump in a Truth Social post on Monday, in which he wrote in part, "In my successful run in 2016, the State of Michigan really came through -- First time in Decades that it was won by a Republican, and it was headed up by my friend Ronna McDaniel. Ronna is now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth."

That recommendation from Trump, according to Fox News and its unnamed sources, will be North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley, who was supposedly specifically chosen because he was "so powerful on election fraud" in the 2020 election cycle.

Whatley, who currently serves as a general counsel for the RNC in addition to the role of NCGOP chair he has held since 2019, will likely be easily approved by a sufficient number of RNC committee members during a meeting scheduled for after the South Carolina primary, though he could face some opposition from McDaniel loyalists and outside advocacy groups.

McDaniel dismisses "rumors" of impending ouster as "simply not true"

As for McDaniel, Fox News observed that she seemed to be dismissive of her allegedly imminent ousting, as she wrote in a Wednesday memo to RNC members, "With a news cycle full of palace intrigue and speculation surrounding all of us, I want to take the time to reassure all of you that I am still hard at work as RNC Chairwoman and building a machine that will elect Republicans up and down the ballot in November."

"Day in and day out, we continue to hold Joe Biden and Democrats’ feet to the fire for their continued assaults on our freedoms and failures, on everything from the border crisis, Bidenomics, and skyrocketing crime," she added. "Myself and my staff are refusing to be distracted by the outside noise and we remain committed to our mission -- rumors to the contrary are simply not true."

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