Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggested Tuesday that former President Donald Trump is trying to steal the 2024 election by promoting a former campaign adviser and his daughter-in-law to top Republican Party leadership posts.
“Now he has decided he has fired the RNC chair,” Haley said at an event Tuesday morning in her hometown of Bamberg, S.C., referring to Trump’s endorsement of a successor to Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican National Committee if she decides to step down in the coming days. “He’s named who’s going to be the new RNC chair. His daughter-in-law will be the co-chair and he is making his campaign manager the officer that runs the party,”
“Think about what’s happening right now,” she continued. “Is that how you’re gonna try and take an election?”
Asked for comment Tuesday, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told NBC News, “Nikki ‘Braindead Birdbrain’ Haley reeks of desperation as it’s clear she knows she has no shot, and is now auditioning for a cable news contract when her 15 minutes are over. But not before she can squeeze every last dollar out of her Democrat benefactors.”
“I think my friend Michael Whatley should be the RNC’s next leader,” Trump said, adding that Whatley “has been with me from the beginning, has done a great job in his home state of North Carolina.”
Whatley serves as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and general counsel for the RNC. He previously served on the Trump-Pence campaign and transition team.
Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, has much less political experience than Whatley. She assisted her father-in-law’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns and was an on-air contributor on Fox News.
There have been recent signs that McDaniel could soon step down from the RNC leadership role she’s held since Jan. 2017, with The New York Times and the Associated Press among the news outlets reporting that she could leave her position after South Carolina holds its GOP primary later this month.
Trump, who has routinely made baseless claims that the last presidential election was “rigged” against him, has been charged by special counsel Jack Smith with unlawfully trying to overturn the 2020 election results. He faces charges in Fulton County, Georgia, as well over those same efforts and has pleaded not guilty in both cases.