As President Trump brazenly seeks to delay election certification in hopes of reversing his defeat, he is also making a less publicized but equally bold offer to maintain control of the Republican National Committee even after he leaves.
Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Trump’s hand-picked president, got the support of the president for re-election for another term in January, when the party is expected to meet for its winter meeting. But his intention to come forward with Mr. Trump’s blessing has prompted a behind-the-scenes proxy battle, dividing Republicans between those who believe the National Party should not be a political affiliate of the incumbent president and others happy that Mr. Trump remains in control of it.
While many Republicans are reluctant to openly criticize their president at a time when he refuses to admit he has lost, the debate crystallizes the larger question of who the party is and whether it will function as a ship. for Mr. Trump’s ambitions to run again. four years.
Mr. Trump will have no political infrastructure once he leaves office, except for a political action committee he recently formed, and in the absence of a formal campaign, he hopes to press the RNC to give him one, said people close to his thinking.
Mr. Trump’s continued influence could also have implications for some of the national committee’s most critical assets: its election data and donor lists contain thousands of names of contributors and detailed information about supporters.
Election data in particular is the focus of attention. Mr Trump sees control of the lists he has helped build over the past four years as a way to hold on to power – and to neutralize potential contenders for party supremacy, according to Republicans close to the White House .
It’s an alarming power play for a number of RNC members, party strategists, and former committee aides. Handing over control of the committee to a potential candidate in 2024 is a move they believe would risk breaking the party’s long-standing commitment to neutrality in nomination contests.