Trump endorses Michael Whatley, daughter-in-law to head RNC

Former president Donald Trump on Monday issued a statement endorsing new leadership at the Republican National Committee. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Former president Donald Trump on Monday issued a statement endorsing new leadership at the Republican National Committee. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Former President Donald Trump on Monday night announced his endorsement of Michael Whatley to head the Republican National Committee despite its chair, Ronna McDaniel, stating she was not stepping down -- at least not now.

Trump also endorsed his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for the role of co-chairwoman.

"The RNC MUST be a good partner in the presidential election. It must do the work we expect from the national party and do it flawlessly," Trump said in a statement.

"That means helping to ensure fair and transparent elections across the country, getting out the vote everywhere -- even in parts of the country where it won't be easy -- and working with my campaign, as the Republican presumptive nominee for president, to win this election and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

The announcement comes as Trump has seemingly been pushing for McDaniel to step down.

A spokesperson for Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Monday night that she was not planning to make any announcement nor would be stepping down until after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24. File Pool Photo by Chris Carlson/UPI
A spokesperson for Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Monday night that she was not planning to make any announcement nor would be stepping down until after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24. File Pool Photo by Chris Carlson/UPI

Earlier this month, Trump said McDaniel "understands" she should resign in an interview with Newsmax that followed the former president stating on his Truth Social platform that he was to decide after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24 "as to my recommendations for RNC growth."

In response to Trump's endorsements on Monday night, an RNC spokesperson told ABC News in a statement that McDaniel would not step down or announce any plans until after South Carolina primary.

Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to be co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. She is married to the former president's son, Eric Trump. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI.
Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to be co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. She is married to the former president's son, Eric Trump. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI.

"Chairwoman McDaniel has been on the road helping elect Republicans up and down the ballot and she will continue working hard to beat [President Joe] Biden this fall," the spokesperson said. "Nothing has changed, and there will be no decision or announcement about future plans until after South Carolina."

Whatley is currently the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and Trump Monday night praised his work in the state, while stating he is "committed to election integrity."

He also touted his daughter-in-law's communication skills and her dedication "to all that MAGA stands for."

"She has told me she wants to accept this challenge and would be GREAT!"

Lara Trump is married to the former president's 40-year-old son, Eric Trump.

Chris LaCivita was also asked to be the RCN's chief operating officer, Trump said in the statement.

"This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested and smart. They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee," he said.

"Every penny will be used properly. New Day."