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US- Trump’s daughter-in-law takes senior Republican Party role

The Republican National Committee elected Donald Trump allies, including his daughter-in-law, to top leadership positions Friday, tightening the former president’s grip over the party ahead of the November election.

Trump, 77, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, put forward a slate of hand-picked candidates last month to head the RNC, which raises funds for Republican candidates and doles out electoral cash.

Michael Whatley, the leader of the Republican Party in North Carolina, and Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump were elected respectively RNC chair and co-chair by voice vote at a meeting of the 168 RNC members in Houston.

Both were unopposed.

“The RNC is going to be the vanguard of a movement that will work tirelessly every single day to elect our nominee Donald J. Trump as the 47th president of the United States,” Whatley said in his acceptance speech.

“We will work relentlessly in every state to ensure that it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Lara Trump, who is married to the former president’s middle son Eric, said the party has “one goal” on election day.

“The goal on November 5 is to win, as my father-in-law says, ‘bigly,'” she said. “This isn’t just about right versus left, Republican versus Democrat. It’s about good versus evil.”

The former president endorsed another ally, campaign strategist Chris LaCivita, to be the chief operating officer of the RNC.

“This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart,” Trump said in a statement.

He described his daughter-in-law as “an extremely talented communicator” who is “dedicated to all that MAGA stands for,” a reference to his “Make America Great Again” slogan.

In addition to ensuring that party funds are allocated to her father-in-law’s presidential campaign, Lara Trump has also argued that paying his legal bills is of “big interest” to Republican voters.

Trump has been faced with mounting legal bills from the various criminal and civil cases filed against him and has been drawing on funds to pay them from donations to his Save America political action committee.

In selecting Whatley, Trump said he is “committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our election so it can’t be stolen.”

Whatley, who has been serving as RNC general counsel, has publicly backed Trump’s false claims that there was “massive fraud” in the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden, Trump’s likely opponent in November.

Amy Carnevale, chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, told AFP the election of the new RNC leadership “marks the shift from the primary campaign to the general election.”

“Starting today, the focus of the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party more generally will really be on defeating Joe Biden,” Carnevale said.

Whatley replaces Ronna McDaniel as RNC chief.

McDaniel, a niece of Utah Senator Mitt Romney, was chosen by Trump to head the body in 2016, but their relationship soured following a string of Republican election losses and poor fundraising numbers.

Lara Trump, a 41-year-old former television producer, married Eric Trump in 2014 and was an active participant in her father-in-law’s 2016 and 2020 White House campaigns.

She has also displayed political aspirations of her own. She briefly considered running for a US Senate seat in her home state of North Carolina in 2021 before deciding against it.

Trump surrounded himself with family members at his Trump Organization real estate business and also named relatives to prominent positions in the White House.

His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner served as senior advisors during his presidency.


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