RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Contemplates Resignation Amid Pressure
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel may step down after South Carolina primary, with Trump allies pressuring her removal. Trump considers Michael Whatley as successor.
Ronna McDaniel, the Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), is reportedly considering stepping down from her position following the South Carolina primary election. This decision comes as former President Donald Trump views the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24 as a crucial opportunity to secure a substantial margin of victory and potentially push his final competitor, former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, out of the race.
According to a New York Times report, McDaniel has been facing significant pressure from allies of Trump who are reportedly working to remove her from the leadership role. RNC Spokesperson Keith Schipper told ABC News, "Nothing has changed. This will be decided after South Carolina."
The New York Times also suggests that Donald Trump is leaning toward appointing Michael Whatley as McDaniel's successor. Whatley currently holds dual roles as the General Counsel for the RNC and the Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. Trump reportedly favors Whatley due to his unwavering support for Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 elections, as well as his endorsement of Trump's allegations regarding Republican security measures in swing states like North Carolina.
Despite the lack of conclusive evidence supporting claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections, Trump and his supporters are advocating for stricter voting laws as a key component of their general election campaign. Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with the RNC's electoral efforts under McDaniel's leadership, describing them as "insufficient." The New York Times also suggests that McDaniel had been considering stepping down from her role before the conclusion of her term.
McDaniel, who was elected as chairwoman in 2017 and secured re-election in 2019 and 2021 with an endorsement from Trump, was re-elected once more in 2023, solidifying her position as the longest-serving RNC Chair since the US Civil War. Additionally, Mike Reed, the Republican National Committee's (RNC) chief of staff, announced his resignation, effective after the recent winter meeting in Las Vegas, according to The Washington Post. Reed had privately indicated his intention to leave since the fall and had already secured new employment.