Former President Donald Trump made official his support for a key North Carolina ally to serve as the next chair of the Republican National Committee, and in a twist recommended that his daughter-in-law Lara Trump be elevated to co-chair.
In a statement released late Monday night, the Republican leader endorsed Michael Whatley, whom he credits with helping to deliver his 2020 campaign a victory in North Carolina. Whatley serves as chair of the NCGOP and has remained appealing to Trump for being a “stop the steal guy,” according to advisors familiar with Trump’s thinking.
“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. That means helping to ensure fair and transparent elections across the country, getting out the vote everywhere – even in parts of the country where it won’t be easy – and working with my campaign, as the Republican presumptive nominee for President, to win this election and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” President Trump said.
“For these reasons, I think my friend Michael Whatley should be the RNC’s next leader. Michael has been with me from the beginning, has done a great job in his home state of North Carolina, and is committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our election so it can’t be stolen.
“My very talented daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has agreed to run as the RNC Co-Chair. Lara is an extremely talented communicator and is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for. She has told me she wants to accept this challenge and would be GREAT!”
“This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart. They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee. Every penny will be used properly. New Day,” he added.
Current chair Ronna McDaniel announced last week that she would be stepping down from the role she has held since 2017 after meeting privately with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Speculation mounted as other contenders such as former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have seen their names added to the mix, but the orbit of Trump’s support may prove too powerful for others to mount a serious challenge against Whatley.
The change comes days after the RNC reported having just $8 million on hand, its lowest figure since 2014. The loss of high-level donors has been erroneously attributed to hesitancy among elites to get behind an RNC that will support President Trump. However, the former president continues to far outpace President Joe Biden in small-dollar fundraising, a sign of his expansive hold over grassroots activists.