Trump Is Considering Backing His Daughter-in-Law for RNC Co-Chair

Former President Donald J. Trump is privately discussing endorsing his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to be the co-chair of the Republican National Committee, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Trump has already told those close to him that his preferred choice to replace the current R.N.C. chair, Ronna McDaniel, is Michael Whatley, the committee’s general counsel. But he is now also discussing Ms. Trump, who is married to his son Eric, as his pick for co-chair, the people familiar with the matter said. The party rules designate one male and one female co-chair.

Ms. Trump has worked closely with the committee for several years, and she is seen as a prolific fund-raiser. She also would be trusted by the Trump family, which has put an imprimatur on almost every aspect of the former president’s political life and which closely watches how resources are allocated.

However, two people described the situation as fluid, given the various moving parts.

Officials with the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not respond to requests for comment. Ms. Trump did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Ms. McDaniel, who has served as the head of the party’s official body for several years, has told Mr. Trump that she plans to step down shortly after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24, according to two people briefed on the matter. Mr. Trump has publicly described Ms. McDaniel as a “friend,” but she has been the focus of intense pressure from both inside and outside the Trump campaign.

Mr. Trump’s team plans to meld the R.N.C. with his campaign as much as possible, a change from 2016, when he was the insurgent nominee whose team was often at odds with the party’s stalwarts, and from 2020, when he was the incumbent president with a team that allocated core functions to the party committee. This time, his team is aiming for as little daylight between the two entities as possible, according to several people briefed on the matter.

But despite Mr. Trump’s heavy pull on the party, the new chair and co-chair must still run for election among the 168 members of the party committee. And Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Mr. Whatley in 2023 as co-chair was not enough to pull him across the finish line to win.

Ms. Trump considered running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, which is her and Mr. Whatley’s home state, in 2021. But she ultimately opted against running.

However, she has been spoken of favorably by some of Mr. Trump’s outside supporters.

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