Over the past few days, the country has gotten a front-row seat to peek inside the flaming dumpster fire that is the Republican National Committee, with some of the worst news coverage Republicans could ask for. Some of the highlights from the RNC under ultra-MAGA extremists Lara Trump and Michael Whatley so far: The committee has rehired many of the 60 former staffers who were recently fired, planned to cut minority community centers and an early voting program, suggested the RNC might pay Trump’s legal bills, and asked job applicants whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen.

Key Point: “Donald Trump’s allies installed to run the Republican National Committee have faced a tumultuous first month in charge, buffeted by staffing problems and operational headaches as they attempt to bring the party apparatus under the control of the Trump campaign before the 2024 election.”

The Guardian: Trump’s RNC takeover triggers strife and staff exits as purge partly backfires

By: Hugo Lowell

  • Donald Trump’s allies installed to run the Republican National Committee have faced a tumultuous first month in charge, buffeted by staffing problems and operational headaches as they attempt to bring the party apparatus under the control of the Trump campaign before the 2024 election.
  • The internal strife at the RNC has prompted the Trump campaign to privately admonish its new leaders in recent weeks. And the move to orchestrate a purge may have partly backfired with far-reaching consequences for the RNC, multiple sources familiar with the matter said.
  • The Trump takeover of the RNC arrived with a show of force just days after the new chair, Michael Whatley, and the new co-chair Lara Trump were elected, when emails went out to entire teams at the organization informing them they could resign and reapply for their jobs, or be terminated.
  • But the threats of termination and the rumored loyalty tests – which turned out to be accurate when staffers were asked in job interviews if they thought the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, though there has been no evidence of election fraud – may have been too aggressive.
  • The prospect of loyalty tests also appears to have unnerved some RNC staffers who declined to return to their old jobs. RNC staffers have long known the way to answer the question of whether the 2020 election was stolen is to say there were “irregularities”, the fact that they were being quizzed made them think the Trump campaign inherently distrusted people from the RNC, and they would always have a target on their backs.

Axios: Trump’s team shows growing pains in pivot to general election

By: Sophia Cai and Alex Thompson

  • Since former President Trump’s smooth ride to become the GOP’s presumptive nominee last month, his team’s pivot to a general election campaign has been more chaotic, with backtracking and second-guessing.
  • Many of the hiccups have revolved around Trump’s takeover of the Republican National Committee. His team now has rehired many of the 60 staffers who were fired when Trump took control last month.
  • The team’s growing pains were evident from the start of Trump’s takeover of the RNC. On his first day, new chief operating officer Sean Cairncross alerted the 60 staffers that they were being asked to resign and reapply, in an email that misspelled his name.
  • Lara Trump initially said she hoped to hire conservative activist and conspiracy theorist Scott Presler, who called the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”
  • The RNC got more unwanted attention for asking job candidates whether they thought the 2020 election was stolen.
  • And after Lara Trump suggested the RNC might pay Donald Trump’s legal bills, the team rushed to reassure RNC members that it wouldn’t. Instead, a pro-Trump PAC is paying the legal fees.
  • The headlines about Trump’s bumpy takeover of the RNC caused concern at the highest levels of his campaign. On March 15, Trump co-campaign manager Susie Wiles told senior staffers that the new RNC’s first week had gotten awful media coverage and things had to change, Axios has learned.

Washington Examiner: You’re rehired: Trump’s RNC chaos continues with reversal of 60 firings and high-level frustration

By: Misty Severi

  • Former President Donald Trump‘s team recently rehired 60 former Republican National Committee staffers who were asked to resign when Trump took over the party‘s financing arm, marking the latest twist for the committee.
  • The 60 staffers, which include regional political directors, members of the data and state strategy teams, and most of the RNC’s state directors, were initially asked to resign and reapply for their positions during the first day of Trump’s takeover.
  • The reversal is the latest in a string of issues for the RNC since Trump and his allies took power last month. Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, and Michael Whatley are now RNC co-chairs after former RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s was ousted.
  • Other issues include backlash over a reported plan to cut community centers and an early voting program, backlash over Lara Trump suggesting the RNC might pay the former president’s legal bills, and asking job applicants whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen.
  • All the bad press had top leaders, including co-campaign manager for Trump, Susie Wiles, concerned. On March 15, Wiles told staffers that things had to change, according to Axios. The reversal also highlights the committee’s need to expand its operations in order to be fully operational and effective.

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