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Trump suggests changes at the RNC in implied dig at Chairwoman McDaniel amid dip in cash reserves

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump suggested in an interview aired Sunday that he thought there would likely be changes at the Republican National Committee, which is led by Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

“I think she did great when she ran Michigan for me. I think she did OK initially in the RNC. I would say right now there’ll probably be some changes made,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” His comments came in response to a question about how he thought McDaniel was performing.

Last week, the Republican National Committee reported its lowest cash on hand figure since 2014, according to FEC filings. The RNC had just $8 million in the bank at the end of December, the lowest figure since it reported about $5 million in cash on hand in 2014.

The committee was outraised by the Democratic National Committee, which raised about $40 million to its GOP counterpart’s $20 million during the fourth quarter of last year. And the DNC held a large cash advantage over the RNC, reporting about $21 million banked.

McDaniel has also faced criticism from some Republicans after the GOP underperformed in the 2022 midterms and lost on several high-profile ballot questions in 2023.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy sharply criticized McDaniel at a GOP presidential debate and said the GOP was “a party of losers” after Republicans “got trounced” in high-profile elections in November in Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky. Ramaswamy blamed McDaniel for Republican underperformance dating to 2018.

The 2024 Republican National Committee winter meeting in Las Vegas, which wrapped this weekend, highlighted divisions within the group over whether to blame 2022’s disappointing results on McDaniel or on Trump.

Some RNC members at the event were frustrated by criticisms of McDaniel, arguing that Trump’s legal issues could hurt rest of the GOP ticket in 2024. Others, meanwhile, took aim at McDaniel’s handling of the organization’s budget and finances.

As chair of the Michigan GOP during the 2016 presidential election, McDaniel worked to deliver the key state for Trump — the first time a Republican presidential candidate had won Michigan in almost 30 years.

McDaniel had the former president’s backing when she first ran for party chair in 2017; last year, she was elected to a fourth consecutive term. Trump did not back a candidate in that race, stating that McDaniel and Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC committeewoman from California and attorney who has represented Trump, should “fight it out.”

McDaniel, meanwhile, has remained loyal to the former president during the 2024 presidential campaign, calling for his GOP rival Nikki Haley to drop out after her defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire. “We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is Donald Trump,” McDaniel told Fox News last month.

CNN’s Jack Forrest, Daniel Strauss, Dana Bash, Maeve Reston and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.

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