NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump issued a warning to the Republican National Committee’s chairwoman in an interview aired Sunday, saying when asked about her that there would “probably be some changes made.”
Trump had been asked by Fox News host Maria Bartiromo about Ronna McDaniel, who has been facing withering attacks from some Trump allies, including the group Turning Point, which was part of an unsuccessful effort to oust her last year.
“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 said on FOX News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures.
The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump was also pressed on the party’s finances following campaign disclosures released this week that showed the RNC had just $8 million in the bank and $1 million in debt.
“So I have a lot of money,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday, arguing that “people are not looking at the RNC. They want changes.”
“You have to understand, I have nothing to do with the RNC. I’m separate,” he added.
The comments come as Trump and his allies have been pushing the party to get behind him and effectively end the primary, even though he still faces a final major rival, his former U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley.
McDaniel was criticized last month for saying Haley had no path to the nomination after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, telling Fox News: “We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump.” An effort by Trump allies to have the RNC this week declare Trump the “presumptive nominee” was withdrawn after he came out against it.
At the RNC’s winter meeting in Las Vegas Friday, McDaniel, who won a fourth two-year term last year, called for the party to unite behind the goal of defeating President Joe Biden.
“We Republicans will stick together, as united as the union our party long ago fought to preserve,” McDaniel said, quoting Ronald Reagan, according to people who were in the room and disclosed her remarks on condition of anonymity to discuss a private gathering.
While Trump and the RNC worked hand-in-hand on his losing 2020 bid, they have disagreed on a number of issues this time around. Trump refused to sign the party’s loyalty pledge, skipped all of its sanctioned primary debates and has continued to cast suspicion on early and mail-in voting, even as the RNC pursues a “Bank Your Vote” initiative aimed at encouraging both.
Trump, in the interview, also continued to push the party to rally behind him and at one point claimed Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been deeply critical of the former president since he left office, is interested in joining his growing list of endorsements.
“I think Mitch McConnell wants to endorse me, that’s what I hear,” he alleged, adding. “Everybody’s getting in line. They’re all getting on board.”
Representatives for McConnell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. McConnell has made a point of staying out of the primary, but previously said he would support the eventual nominee.
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