Trump has also asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to assume role of COO at RNC
Former United States president Donald Trump on Monday night announced endorsements for the Republican National Committee (RNC), with Michael Whatley as chairman and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair, CBS News reported.
Trump’s endorsement of Whatley, who is the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and his daughter-in-law who will be serving a leadership position in the party for the first time, is expected to shake up the current leadership of the GOP.
The 77-year-old Republican presidential candidate also announced that he asked one of his campaign’s senior advisors, Chris LaCivita, to move over to the RNC to assume the role of Chief Operating Officer.
“This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart,” Trump wrote in a statement Monday night. “They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee.”
The RNC’s chair, Ronna McDaniel, won a fourth term as chair in January and has been replaced due to low fundraising numbers and underperformance in recent national elections, despite having been in office since 2017.
In 2023, the RNC had its worst fundraising year in a decade, and it entered 2024 with just $8 million in its coffers, its lowest cash on hand since 2014, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports.
Last week, McDaniel met with Trump in Mar-a-Lago where she told him she’s a “team player”, expressing her commitment to the party’s best interests, including stepping down as chair.
Trump announced he would decide the RNC leadership’s future after the South Carolina primary on February 24.
Whatley, who currently serves as the general counsel at the RNC, has echoed Trump’s unproven claims of fraud following the 2020 election, stating that “we do know there was massive fraud”.
Lara, married to Trump’s second son Eric, was prominently featured on Trump’s campaign trail and was floated as a North Carolina Senate candidate for the 2022 midterm cycle.
LaCivita, a seasoned Republican strategist, has worked on various campaigns, including Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential run and the pro-Trump super political action committee Make America Great Again Inc., before joining Trump’s re-election campaign in 2022.