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Trump expected to back North Carolina GOP leader if McDaniel resigns as RNC chairwoman, reports

McDaniel has faced multiple calls to resign from prominent GOP figures due to the party underperforming in three consecutive election cycles.

Published: February 7, 2024 1:01pm

Updated: February 7, 2024 1:10pm

Former President Donald Trump is expected to support North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley for RNC chairman if and when Ronna McDaniel resigns from the post, according to multiple reports. 

McDaniel reportedly plans to step down from her position after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24. 

Sources told the New York Times that Trump is likely to recommend Whatley as McDaniel's successor, though he would need to win a leadership election to become the next Republican National Committee chairman. And a major North Carolina daily newspaper, The News and Observer, is also reporting Trump will likely back Whatley.

An RNC spokesperson told ABC News on Tuesday that "nothing has changed," and that the matter will be decided after South Carolina.

McDaniel is facing calls from within her party to resign, with the RNC facing money problems and the GOP having lost or under-performed in the 2020, 2022 and 2023 elections cycles. 

Among those calling for her resignation is GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. 

Trump picked McDaniel to run the RNC after he was elected president in 2016.

On Sunday, he suggested on the Fox News Channel that "changes" were coming to the RNC but said he was not in charge of the group.

He reportedly met with McDaniel at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Monday, which was followed by the announcement that McDaniel's chief of staff, Mike Reed, was resigning. 

Whatley also serves as general counsel for the Republican National Committee and has been a federal law clerk in the past. 

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