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Trump wants his daughter-in-law Lara in senior position at RNC, report says

Donald Trump is reportedly considering supporting his daughter-in-law Lara Trump for co-chair of the Republican National Committee, according to The New York Times.

This comes after reports that current RNC chair Ronna McDaniel is set to leave her post after the South Carolina Republican primary.

The former president is backing Michael Whatley, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party and a fellow election denier, to replace Ms McDaniel in the top role. Mr Whatley is also the general counsel for the RNC.

The party rules designate that one woman and one man serve as co-chairs of the RNC. Mr Trump has been discussing with aides the possibility of endorsing the wife of his son Eric to serve as one of the co-chairs.

Ms Trump has worked with the committee for years and has built a reputation as a strong fundraiser.

The daughter-in-law would also be trusted by the Trump family, which asserts influence over Mr Trump’s campaign and which follows how resources are used, The New York Times noted.

Ms Trump weighed running for US Senate in North Carolina in 2021.

Ms McDaniel has been under pressure for several months to step down as Mr Trump’s allies have attempted to push her out amid concerns about the RNC’s finances ahead of the general election campaign.

After she met Mr Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Monday last week, Mr Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform that Ms McDaniel was “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”.

Ms McDaniel has reportedly been thinking about resigning before the end of her term for quite a while.

As an organisation, the RNC focuses on turning out Republican voters and raising funds for the party. In 2016, the committee was forced to work with Mr Trump after he shocked the entire Republican field when he won the nomination and subsequently the general election. In 2020, the Trump campaign handed over a number of important functions to the committee, and during the 2024 campaign, the Trump team is expected to attempt to completely subsume the committee, The New York Times notes.

Ms McDaniel was the chair of the Michigan Republican Party between 2015 and 2017, taking the helm of the national committee just a day before Mr Trump’s inauguration in January of that year. Her predecessor, Reince Priebus, left the post to become Mr Trump’s first White House chief of staff.

While Ms McDaniel was set to serve until 2025, her relationship with Mr Trump began deteriorating as they squabbled over the Republican primary debates this campaign season, which featured Mr Trump’s challengers but not the former president who refused to take part.

Mr Trump pushed Ms McDaniel to cancel the debates, but she refused, according to The Washington Post.

Mr Trump was then on the receiving end of a long stream of criticism aimed at Ms McDaniel coming from rightwing donors, activists, as well as from his aides, worried about fundraising, with the RNC having about half the cash of the DNC at the end of last year.

Mr Trump has remained cordial in private with the outgoing chair, The Post reported. He hasn’t strongly urged her to leave despite the pushing from aides and donors.

But about two weeks ago, Mr Trump started telling people it was time for a change at the RNC.

And on Monday last week, a Newsmax reporter asked Mr Trump: “Is it time for Ronna McDaniel to step aside?”

Uncharacteristically gently, Mr Trump said: “I think she knows that, I think she understands that.”