Shocking News: Ronna McDaniel Set to Resign as Trump Tightens Grip on Republican Party!

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will step down on March 8, after being forced out of the GOP's national leadership as Donald Trump marches toward another presidential nomination and asserts his control over the match.

McDaniel announced his decision in a statement Monday morning.

“I have decided to step aside at our spring training on March 8 in Houston to allow our nominee to select a president of his choice,” McDaniel said in the statement. “Historically, the RNC has undergone changes once we have a nominee and it has always been my intention to honor that tradition.”

READ MORE: Trump calls for new leadership at Republican National Committee, including daughter-in-law as co-chair

The move was not a surprise. Trump announced earlier this month his preference for North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley, a little-known veteran operative focused in recent years on the prospect of voter fraud, to replace McDaniel. Trump also chose his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to be co-chair of the committee.

McDaniel, 50, was a staunch supporter of the former president and helped reshape the Republican Party in his image. But Trump's MAGA movement increasingly blamed McDaniel for the former president's loss in 2020 and for the party's failure to live up to expectations in elections the past two years.

In addition to McDaniel, RNC co-chair Drew McKissick said he would also be leaving.

The leadership shakeup comes as the Republican Party moves from the primary to the general election phase of the 2024 presidential race. While former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley remained in the race, Trump won every state in the primary schedule and could secure the Republican nomination in mid-March.

Trump cannot make leadership changes without the formal endorsement of the RNC's 168-member governing body, but McDaniel had no choice but to accept Trump's wishes given his status as the party's likely presidential candidate and his popularity among party activists. . Republican National Committee members across the country are expected to approve Trump's decision in March.

McDaniel was the committee's longest-serving leader since the Civil War. The niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, she was Trump's choice to head the Republican National Committee chair shortly after the 2016 election. Her profile as a suburban mom was also seen as especially helpful as the party struggled to appeal to suburban women in the Trump era.

McDaniel easily dismissed criticism from his opponents within the “Make America Great Again” movement to win re-election as party chairman a year ago. But the voices of his opponents carry more weight. The party is also struggling to raise money. The RNC reported $8.7 million in the bank in early February, compared to $24 million for the Democratic National Committee.

While the new leadership structure that will effectively amount to a takeover of the Republican National Committee by the Trump campaign is expected to be widely accepted by members, Henry Barbour, a national committee member from Mississippi, has been circulating a couple of draft resolutions, one of them pushing to keep the committee. neutral until Trump is officially the presidential candidate and another that would prevent the committee from paying its legal bills.

Lara Trump has suggested that Republican voters would probably want the RNC to cover her father-in-law's legal expenses, given that they see the 91 felony charges against him as an example of political persecution. It is unclear whether the 168 members of the Republican National Committee will reach an agreement.

Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump campaign adviser who will run day-to-day operations at the RNC, has said the organization will not use party funds to pay Trump's legal bills.

Meanwhile, Trump also wants allies who echo his false theories about election fraud. That's a key reason Trump is believed to have turned to Whatley, currently chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and general counsel of the Republican National Committee.

Trump won North Carolina in 2020 by just over 1 percentage point and the state is expected to be highly competitive again this year.

Whatley has taken credit for hiring an army of lawyers ahead of the 2020 election, which he says hampered Democratic efforts to commit voter fraud that year. There was no evidence of any intentional effort to commit widespread voter fraud in multiple investigations and court cases.

Whatley also has strong connections to the political establishment. His resume includes experience as an oil and gas lobbyist and ties to establishment figures such as George W. Bush and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R.N.C.

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