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RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel to Leave Post as Trump Installs New Loyalists

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel is stepping down on March 8, replaced by Trump's allies amid concerns over fundraising and leadership.

Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee Chair, has announced that she will step aside from her position on March 8th. This decision comes as Donald Trump asserts his control over the GOP and moves towards another presidential nomination. It was not a surprise as Trump had earlier expressed his preference for North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley to replace McDaniel. In addition, Trump also selected his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to serve as committee co-chair.

McDaniel, who is 50 years old, was a strong advocate for Trump and played a significant role in reshaping the GOP in his image. However, Trump's MAGA movement increasingly blamed McDaniel for the former president's 2020 loss and the party's failures to meet expectations in races the last two years. As a result, McDaniel had little choice but to acquiesce to Trump's wishes given his status as the party's likely presidential nominee and his popularity with party activists.

The leadership shakeup comes as the GOP shifts from the primary phase to the general election of the 2024 presidential contest. While former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has remained in the race, Trump has won every state in the primary calendar and could clinch the Republican nomination by mid-March. Haley criticized the RNC's decision, stating that it was turning into "Donald Trump's playpen."

The new leadership structure is expected to be embraced by members, but there are concerns about the RNC's financial situation. The organization is struggling to raise money, with the RNC reporting $8.7 million in the bank at the beginning of February compared to the Democratic National Committee's $24 million.

There are also concerns about the RNC's involvement in covering Trump's legal bills. Lara Trump has suggested that GOP voters would likely want the RNC to cover her father-in-law's legal bills, given that they see the 91 felony counts against him as an example of political persecution. However, Trump's senior campaign adviser has stated that the organization won't use party funds to pay Trump's legal bills.

In addition to the leadership changes, Trump is also seeking allies who echo his false theories of voter fraud. This is a key reason why Trump is believed to have tapped Michael Whatley, who has strong connections to the political establishment and is currently the North Carolina GOP chair and general counsel to the RNC.

Overall, the RNC is undergoing significant changes as Trump asserts his control over the party, and it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the GOP's prospects in the 2024 presidential contest.

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