Trump meets with Ronna McDaniel — then says he’ll be recommending RNC changes

Trump meets with Ronna McDaniel — then says he’ll be recommending RNC changes

Donald Trump met with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel Monday, one day after the former president said he expected there to be “changes” at the RNC.

The meeting, which took place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, was confirmed by two people familiar with the discussion.

After the meeting, Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social that McDaniel was his “friend,” but said he would be calling for changes to the committee following the South Carolina GOP primary on Feb. 24.

“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,” he wrote.

Trump handpicked McDaniel to run the RNC shortly after his 2016 election, and the two have long been close. But in recent months, he has publicly attacked the committee for its decision to host primary debates featuring his Republican rivals — debates, in which he refused to participate. He argued that the RNC should be focused more on issues related to voter integrity, despite the committee spending tens of millions of dollars on it.

Top Republicans, meanwhile, have raised concerns about the party’s finances heading into the general election. The RNC ended 2023 with just $8 million in cash on hand, less than half as much as the Democratic National Committee.

Trump, who is the strong frontrunner to win the GOP nomination, suggested that he would push for changes during an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News.

“I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did OK, initially, in the RNC. I would say right now, there’ll probably be some changes made,” he said.

Representatives for Trump and the RNC declined to comment.

McDaniel is the longest-serving RNC chair in modern history, having held the position since 2017. But over the last year she has come under criticism from conservative activists — namely those from the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA — who regard her as too aligned with the party establishment. Last year, she faced opposition in her reelection bid from Harmeet Dhillon, a California RNC committee member who was bolstered by Turning Point USA. McDaniel ended up winning easily with Dhillon notching the support of 55 RNC members.

There are several ways a possible RNC shakeup could play out. Should McDaniel leave — and she has not yet publicly said whether she will step down — there would be an election for a replacement. Trump could conceivably endorse a candidate in that race.

Another possibility is that the Trump campaign could install a loyalist at the committee who would have substantial operational control, even with McDaniel still there.

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