Former President Donald Trump endorsed North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley to replace Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Monday.

The former president suggested McDaniel could be replaced in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that aired Feb. 4, days after Federal Election Commission filings showed the RNC had only $8 million cash on hand, its lowest figure since 2014. Trump also announced support for his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as co-chair in the statement.

“I think my friend Michael Whatley should be the RNC’s next leader,” Trump said in the statement. “Michael has been with me from the beginning, has done a great job in his home state of North Carolina, and is committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our election so it can’t be stolen.”

“My very talented daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has agreed to run as the RNC Co-Chair,” Trump continued. “Lara is an extremely talented communicator and is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for. She has told me she wants to accept this challenge and would be GREAT!”

McDaniel reportedly told Trump she would step down after the Feb. 24 Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, according to the New York Times. She pushed back against the report in a Wednesday memo obtained by the Daily Caller.

The chairwoman came under fire after Republicans underperformed expectations during the 2022 midterm elections and had a disappointing 2023 election night, losing control of the Virginia General Assembly and failing to unseat Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

McDaniel fended off a challenge for the chairmanship of the RNC by lawyer Harmeet Dhillon in January 2023.

“I have also asked Chris LaCivita, in whom I have full confidence, to assume the role of, in effect, Chief Operating Officer of the Committee,” Trump said in the statement. “Chris will manage the RNC’s day-to-day operations so it will become a fighting machine for 2024 and use all the tools available to win for the American people.”

“This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart. They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee,” Trump continued. “Every penny will be used properly.”

Harold Hutchison on February 12, 2024

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