RNC Votes to Recognize Trump as the Presumptive 2024 Nominee

The former president was recognized as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee this week.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday voted to recognize former President Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee for president, coming after he secured a commanding lead after the Super Tuesday contests.

Ronna McDaniel presided over the RNC vote in her final appearance as the committee’s chairwoman on Friday. She announced last month that she would step down from the role on March 8.

She recognized the “overwhelming success” of the former president’s campaign and how he has secured more than 90 percent of Republican delegates so far. After asking the room to name President Trump as the presumptive nominee, the audience agreed.

But before the RNC meeting in Houston, the organization issued a statement on March 6, or a day after Super Tuesday, that it formally recognized him as the GOP nominee for 2024.

“Congratulations to President Donald J. Trump on his huge primary victory!” Ms. McDaniel said in the statement. “I’d also like to congratulate Nikki Haley for running a hard-fought campaign and becoming the first woman to win a Republican presidential contest.”

It came after then-presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced she was dropping out of the Republican race after winning only one state on Super Tuesday. President Trump won the remaining 14 states and all the other states before the contest.

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Earlier this year, the former president criticized the idea of being named the presumptive nominee after reports suggested that the RNC would do so before the Super Tuesday contests and while Ms. Haley was still in the race.

He wrote on Truth Social in January that he appreciated the idea, but “for the sake of PARTY UNITY, that they should NOT go forward with this plan, but that I should do it the ‘Old Fashioned’ way, and finish the process off AT THE BALLOT BOX.”

Also Friday, the RNC voted to name Trump-endorsed officials to head the organization. Michael Whatley, a North Carolina Republican, was elected the party’s new national chairman in a vote Friday morning in Houston, and Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, was voted in as co-chair.

“The RNC is going to be the vanguard of a movement that will work tirelessly every single day to elect our nominee, Donald J. Trump, as the 47th President of the United States,” Mr. Whatley told RNC members in a speech after being elected, replacing Ms. McDaniel. Ms. Trump is expected to focus largely on fundraising and media appearances.

After being named to the position, Ms. Trump told the attendees Friday that “we have to raise a lot of money” while holding up a check. “The goal on Nov. 5 is to win, as my father-in-law says, ‘bigly,’” she added.

The functional head of the RNC will be Chris LaCivita, who will assume the committee’s chief of staff role and will also maintain his job as one of the Trump campaign’s top two advisers.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. LaCivita told The Associated Press that the new officials won’t use the RNC to pay President Trump’s mounting personal legal bills.

The former president faces four criminal indictments and a total of 91 counts as well as a $355 million civil fraud judgment, which he is appealing. His affiliated Save America political action committee has spent $76 million over the past two years on lawyers.

“The fact of the matter is not a penny of the RNC’s money or, for that matter, the campaign’s money has gone or will go to pay legal fees,” he said.

He also told reporters on Super Tuesday that one of his primary goals in the RNC will be to target election integrity.

Lara Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 22, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Lara Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 22, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“Now that we get in there, this is not our first rodeo, so we have a pretty good idea of what we want to do,” Mr. LaCivita said, according to ABC News. “First and foremost it’s about putting together real ground game operations that are built around early states.”
Earlier in March, RNC committeeman Henry Barbour of Mississippi proposed a non-binding resolution explicitly stating that RNC funds could not be used for President Trump’s legal bills, but the resolution died when he failed to earn the support of RNC members from at least 10 states.
Solomon Yue, a committeeman from Oregon, told CNBC that the RNC should pay the legal fees, describing it as “lawfare” and saying it would be needed “to defeat Biden’s reelection in November.”

Roger Villere, an RNC committeeman from Louisiana, shared similar comments with the outlet.

“I believe the RNC should pay President Trump’s legal bills,” Mr. Villere said. “I know we will be raising the money needed for that as well as electing our Republican candidates this fall,” he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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