Trump’s Plan to Change the RNC

Reforming the RNC would ensure MAGA influence beyond 2024.

What’s happening: As Trump gets closer to his third consecutive presidential nomination, his plans to transform the Republican National Committee (RNC) may come to fruition in the coming weeks.

  • Falling out: In 2023, the RNC experienced its worst fundraising year in a decade. Trump's allies complained that party chair Ronna McDaniel was irresponsible with finances and failed to fundraise sufficiently. Furthermore, Trump is under increasing pressure to break away from establishment leaders such as McDaniel after a string of GOP losses in highly contested races.

Leadership changes: Anti-Trump members of the RNC are expected to be ousted and replaced with loyalists.

  • Meet the players: Trump will likely install Michael Whately — chairman of the North Carolina GOP — as McDaniel’s successor and appoint daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as co-chair. Trump’s senior campaign advisor, Chris LaCivita, is his intended nominee for de facto chief operating officer to reform party finances.

  • The great purge: The plan resembles Project 2025, a $22 million effort aimed at staffing the next Republican administration with an army of Trump loyalists.

Why it matters: Consolidating the RNC around Trumpism would ensure the MAGA movement’s party influence beyond the 2024 election.

  • However: The Republican president or Republican presidential nominee controls the RNC, so anticipated changes would not take place until Trump is nominated.

The new establishment? Former House Speaker and Trump critic Paul Ryan (R-WI) argued that Trump represents the GOP “establishment” now, as the majority of the party aligns with him.