Former President Donald Trump still holds serious sway with the Republican National Committee, making his decision not to help RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in her re-election bid notable.
McDaniel sports the endorsements of almost two-thirds of the membership, more than she needs to secure re-election. But while Trump could have likely quelled simmering discontent among some conservatives with a nod of support, he told Breitbart “I like them both” when asked whether he preferred McDaniel or California Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon, who served as one of his campaign’s legal advisors.
Trump did throw another ally a bone over the weekend — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is also facing some pressure from his right flank as a handful of Republicans say they won’t vote for him to become speaker. In a Breitbart interview, Trump reiterated his support for McCarthy, saying, “I like him,” and warning that the attempts to deny him the speakership could prove “dangerous.”
In other 2024 news…
Gearing up for another run: NBC News reports that the White House held a series of closed-door meetings with top allies to counsel them on selling President Joe Biden’s record ahead of his expected re-election bid. The Washington Post reports that the re-elect wants to build out an even more robust digital campaign than it had in 2020, even as there still remain some doubts as to whether Biden will ultimately go through with a bid.
Pence’s “identity crisis”: Politico reports on how former Vice President Mike Pence is handling the balancing act inside the GOP as a major face of the Trump administration who both broke with Trump on Jan. 6, 2021 but who hasn’t shied away from endorsing candidates who have questioned the legitimacy of that election.
Richmond rush: Republicans have selected Pastor Leon Benjamin as their nominee ahead of February’s special election in Virginia’s 4th District, with Democrats set to choose between four candidates on Tuesday.
Live First or Die: New Hampshire politicians and politicos are livid at the prospect of the Democratic Party pushing the state aside on the presidential nominating calendar, NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports.
Will he, won’t he: Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he’ll decide by the first quarter of 2023 whether he’ll run for president.
Will he, won’t he part 2: While West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told CBS he has “no intentions” of leaving the Democratic Party, but he cryptically added he’s keeping an eye on the politics surrounding the implementation of the signature infrastructure and spending bills he helped pass.
Say it ain’t so, Santos: The New York Times reports that New York GOP Rep.-elect George Santos’s supposed alma mater and a few supposed employers have no record of him attending or working there, and also raised questions about various other claims from his biography.