Trump backs his candidate for RNC chair, and his daughter-in-law for co-chair

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a primary election night party in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, with Eir and Lara Trump. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Former President Donald Trump on Monday night made public what he has been discussing privately for days: He has settled on someone to replace Ronna McDaniel as the chair of the Republican National Committee, and wants his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to be the co-chair.

“The RNC MUST be a good partner in the presidential election,” Donald Trump wrote in his statement. “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” and getting out the vote, he said.


He said he wanted his “friend” Michael Whatley, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party and the national committee’s general counsel, and “my very talented daughter-in-law, Lara Trump,” to serve as party leaders.

“Lara is an extremely talented communicator and is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for,” Trump said of his daughter-in-law, who is married to his middle son, Eric. “She has told me she wants to accept this challenge and would be GREAT!”

The statement came hours after The New York Times reported that Trump had told people he was considering endorsing Lara Trump. The Times had previously reported that Donald Trump wanted Whatley — a supporter of his false claims about widespread voter fraud — as the next RNC chair.

Both the chair and co-chair are paid positions.

Donald Trump cannot simply appoint them. An election must be called to replace McDaniel when she ultimately decides to step down. And despite Trump’s heavy influence over the party, his endorsement of Whatley in 2023 as co-chair was not enough to pull him across the finish line to win.

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