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Feb 6, 2024, 9:55pm EST
politics

Report: Ronna McDaniel to step down as RNC chair

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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The News

Ronna McDaniel told Donald Trump she plans to step down from her position as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported on Tuesday night that McDaniel informed Trump she’d leave her role shortly after the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary. CNN followed shortly after, reporting she’d offered to give up her role. Trump seemed to telegraph her exit over the weekend, saying he expected “changes” soon as he prepared to assume the nomination.

The RNC pushed back against the reports, which Semafor could not immediately confirm.

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“Nothing has changed. This will be decided after South Carolina,” RNC Spokesperson Keith Schipper told Semafor in a statement.

The Times reports that Trump is reportedly considering backing Michael Whatley, the North Carolina Republican Party chairman, as her replacement, though he does not have the power to officially appoint anyone to the job. Trump is a fan of his participation in the “stop the steal” movement, the effort to overturn the 2020 election that’s at the center of the state and federal indictments facing the former president.

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David and Shelby's View

McDaniel’s resignation would be a triumph for pro-Trump conservative activists, who had been calling for her ouster since after the 2020 election.

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“She’s got to go,” said Steve Bannon. “The RNC right now has to be taken apart brick by brick and rapidly rebuilt. Get a forensic audit. Get rid of the consultants. Focus very quickly on a massive get out the vote effort and voter integrity in the battleground states.”

Whatley was rumored to be McDaniel’s preferred successor, while South Carolina chair Drew McKissick was being floated as an alternative.

“Whatley’s known — but if she recommended him, it’s the kiss of death and he shouldn’t get it,” said Bannon.

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Bannon was among the speakers at a Turning Point USA conference held near (and before) last week’s RNC meeting in Las Vegas. There, a small group of RNC members discussed the reasons they wanted McDaniel gone, from failing to turn out low-propensity voters to presiding over an expensive primary. That was money, said Arizona RNC member Tyler Bowyer, that could have been spent helping Donald Trump beat Democrats. He’s already suggesting names of conservative, female members for the party co-chair position; RNC rules require “a chairman and a co-chairman of the opposite sex.”

“It’s nothing personal,” TPUSA CEO Charlie Kirk told Semafor, at the conference. “We were taken by surprise by 10 or 12 different attack vectors in 2020. And we’re told that everything’s fine.”

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The View From Democrats

DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd called McDaniel a “complete disaster” for Republicans who’d wrecked the party’s finances. “With Trump now pushing to replace his MAGA loyalist with an election denying conspiracy theorist,” he said in a statement, “it’s clear that the RNC’s deep and growing problems aren’t getting better any time soon.”

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