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RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Stepping Down Amid Controversy

Chris Agee
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Although she rose to the position in 2017 with the support of then-President Donald Trump, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has faced substantial political headwinds during the intervening years.

In November, then-candidate Vivek Ramaswamy used some of his time during a presidential primary debate to call on McDaniel, who was in the audience, to resign.

In addition to being tied to a string of electoral losses by Republican candidates during her term, she has also faced criticism for the RNC’s pattern of seemingly excessive spending.


Reports this week confirmed that McDaniel traveled to Trump’s private residence at the Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida where she signaled that she will step down following the South Carolina primary later this month.

Mike Reed, McDaniel’s chief of staff, made a similar announcement of his own on Tuesday, confirming that he would also be resigning.

“I know the timing of this news comes as many rumors in the press swirl and we prepare to merge with the presumptive nominee,” he said, referring to Trump. “I assure you, the RNC is in an incredibly strong position.”

Trump, who maintains a commanding lead in the GOP presidential primary, had weighed in on the situation in the days leading up to McDaniel’s announcement.

When asked during a Fox News Channel interview on Sunday for his thoughts about her performance, Trump replied: “I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did OK, initially, in the RNC. I would say right now there will probably be some changes made.”


The following day, he sat down for an interview with Newsmax TV and offered an even more direct response when asked if McDaniel should step down.

“Well, I think she knows that,” Trump said. “I think she understands that.”

Prior to the meeting at Mar-A-Lago, Trump shared a social media post referring to McDaniel as a “friend” and signaling the Feb. 24 primary as a milestone in implementing changes to the committee.

“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,” he wrote.