Trump Planning to Promote Michael Whatley as Successor
The New York Times has reported that Ronna McDaniel, the longest-serving RNC chair in modern history, plans to resign after the upcoming South Carolina Republican presidential primary on February 24th. According to sources, former President Donald Trump has expressed his desire to promote North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley as McDaniel’s successor. However, RNC spokesperson Keith Schipper stated that “nothing has changed” and the decision will be made after the South Carolina primary.
Trump Calls for Changes at the RNC
As former President Trump moves closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination, he has been vocal about his calls for changes and new leadership at the GOP’s national party committee. Trump recently met with RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. In a statement on his Truth Social platform, Trump referred to McDaniel as a “friend” but expressed his intention to recommend changes at the RNC after the South Carolina primary.
Criticism and Financial Concerns Surround McDaniel
McDaniel, who was nominated by Trump after his 2016 election victory, has faced criticism from far-right detractors who view her as too aligned with the party’s establishment wing. Additionally, she has received scrutiny over the RNC’s finances, particularly regarding fundraising for the general election. The RNC ended 2023 with only $8 million in cash on hand, significantly less than the Democratic National Committee. However, the RNC reported a successful fundraising month in January, bringing in $12 million.
Opposition to Whatley’s Potential Appointment
While Trump holds considerable influence over the Republican Party, there may be opposition from some of the RNC’s committee members regarding the potential appointment of Michael Whatley as chair if McDaniel resigns. Whatley has been a strong supporter of Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
RNC Chief of Staff Also Departing
In a separate development, RNC Chief of Staff Mike Reed announced his departure at the end of the month. However, Reed has accepted a new position in the private sector, which was arranged months ago.
The Democratic National Committee took the opportunity to criticize both McDaniel and Trump, with spokesperson Alex Floyd stating that McDaniel is “reportedly the latest American to lose their job under Donald Trump.”