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HomeGeneralCritics Accuse Trump of Nepotism for Endorsing Lara Trump as RNC Co-Chair

Critics Accuse Trump of Nepotism for Endorsing Lara Trump as RNC Co-Chair

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Lara Trump
Source: Vanity Fair

Former president Donald Trump has been accused of nepotism and favoritism for endorsing his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC). She was appointed to replace the current Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. This bold move has stirred up a storm in politics. 

Critics said the appointment would lead to a potential conflict of interest. Many accused him of sidelining the democratic process, and some wondered about the future of the GOP. According to The New York Times, Trump also endorsed Michael Whatley, the current North Carolina GOP leader, for the chair position of the RNC. 

Trump said he wanted his “friend” Whatles, who had supported his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, and “my very talented daughter-in-law, Lara Trump,” to act as party leaders. This surprised current chairwoman McDaniel and RNC members who anticipated a leadership change only after the South Carolina primary.

“The RNC MUST be a good partner in the presidential election. It must do the work we expect from the National Party and do it flawlessly,” Trump said. He explained that the work is to ensure “fair and transparent elections” nationwide and boost voter turnout.

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“Lara is an extremely talented communicator and is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for. She told me she wants to accept this challenge, which would be GREAT!” Trump boasted of his son’s wife. In 2021, Lara Trump, along with Michael Whatley, had considered running for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. However, she eventually decided against it.

Trump further stated that Chris LaCivita, a key adviser in his current campaign, would move over to become “in effect” the chief operating officer of the RNC. This move cements Trump’s influence over the party’s operational organization.

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Leah Wright Rigueur, a political historian and professor at Johns Hopkins University, criticized Trump’s endorsement of his daughter-in-law. She called out the potential consequences of choosing familial connections over merit and expertise. 

“I think his policy is one of nepotism,” Rigueur told CNN. “He firmly believes in that, and part of it is because it is a way of enforcing an agenda and an outlook that holds close to him. What better way than to have a daughter-in-law or a family member in a position of power when you need them to be in a position of power?” 

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She added that the Republicans have a “delusional belief” that they can confine Trump when that is not the reality. “This is Donald Trump’s party, and right now, he is putting things in place and in position to ensure that you cannot control him,” Rigueur said. 

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Another critic–Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian of authoritarianism, fascism, and propaganda and NYU professor, posted on X. “Classic autocratic move. Turning politics into a funnel of personal profit requires the party be subordinated to (crime) family interests.”

While Trump’s endorsement has considerable influence, he cannot unilaterally appoint them to leadership positions within the RNC. Any change in leadership requires an election process after the current chairwoman decides to step down. Ultimately, the decision regarding Lara Trump’s appointment will rest with the leadership of the Republican National Committee.

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