Following RedState’s reporting on questionable spending at the Republican National Committee between October 2022 and November 2023, and following interviews in which he seemed to indicate that a change is coming to the RNC, Donald Trump reportedly sat down with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel at Mar-a-Lago for more than two hours Monday to discuss the status of the party.
READ MORE: Trump Hints RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Will Soon Be Looking for a New Place to Fail
According to Politico, the meeting took place after Trump filmed an interview with Newsmax in which he said, “I think she knows that, I think she understands that,” in response to a question from Rob Schmitt as to whether it was time for McDaniel to step aside. (That question starts at 1:40 into the video below.)
TRUMP: “My poll numbers are the best we’ve ever had.” pic.twitter.com/aKUI3X0xyE
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) February 6, 2024
The Washington Post reports that the meeting was “friendly.”
GOP front-runner Donald Trump sent mixed signals on Monday over whether Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel should resign, first suggesting in an interview that she knows it’s time to step aside while later calling her a “friend” and saying he would make a decision on her fate after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24.
. . .
Two people familiar with Monday’s meeting described it as friendly and said Trump made no ultimatums. One of the people said McDaniel was not committed to staying through Election Day but had not decided to leave yet, and that Trump has not committed to any decision.
Trump has begun positing about replacements, including Joe Gruters of Florida and Michael Whatley of North Carolina, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
The information about possible replacements tracks with what sources close to Trump have told RedState.
According to WaPo, Trump is upset with McDaniel’s performance related to election losses, presidential primary debates, fundraising, and election integrity efforts. But one of her stalwart defenders says the issues were caused by Trump, not Ronna.
“If Trump wants to understand why we lost in 2018, 2020 and 2022, all he has to do is look in the mirror. Ronna isn’t a magician,” said RNC member Henry Barbour, who has criticized Trump.
As referenced by WaPo, after the Newsmax interview and after his meeting with McDaniel, Trump posted about the issue on Truth Social, saying:
In my successful run in 2016, the State of Michigan really came through – First time in Decades that it was won by a Republican, and it was headed up by my friend Ronna McDaniel. Ronna is 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.
If Trump decided that a change at the top of the RNC was necessary, how would that play out? Politico gave a few scenarios, without noting who provided those scenarios.
There are several ways a possible RNC shakeup could play out. Should McDaniel leave — and she has not yet publicly said whether she will step down — there would be an election for a replacement. Trump could conceivably endorse a candidate in that race.
Another possibility is that the Trump campaign could install a loyalist at the committee who would have substantial operational control, even with McDaniel still there.
It looks like we’ll find out after the South Carolina primary.