Trump Says Ronna McDaniel ‘Knows’ She Should Step Down as R.N.C. Chair

Former President Donald J. Trump on Monday suggested that Ronna McDaniel should leave her post as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

In a sit-down interview with the right-wing news network Newsmax, Mr. Trump was asked whether Ms. McDaniel, whom he first chose to lead the party in 2017, should step aside given the party’s lackluster fund-raising and electoral results in recent years.

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

A spokeswoman for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. But Ms. McDaniel has let it be known that she would step aside if the Republican nominee preferred.

The exchange aired the same day that the former president met with Ms. McDaniel at Mar-a-Lago, his members-only club in Florida, according to Politico. It came after the recent disclosure that the committee had recorded its weakest cash position in years — only $8 million cash on hand, with $1.8 million in debts.

Mr. Trump signaled in a social media post on Monday that he could usher in changes at the national committee in the next few weeks.

“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, calling Ms. McDaniel a “friend.”

South Carolina will hold its Republican primary on Feb. 24.

While he holds no formal power over the group, it is commonplace for the party’s standard-bearer — which Mr. Trump, as the Republican front-runner, very much is — to wield significant power over the committee.

His remarks on Monday expanded on his less-than-glowing assessment of Ms. McDaniel’s performance during an interview on Sunday on Fox News. When he was asked how she had been doing as the committee’s leader, Mr. Trump praised Ms. McDaniel for her previous role in helping him win Michigan during the 2016 election, when she was the state party chairwoman.

“I think she did OK initially in the R.N.C.,” he said. “I would say right now there will probably be some changes made.”

Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting.

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