Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Michael Whatley for Republican National Committee chair and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for co-chair.
Trump announced his endorsement in a statement Monday night, citing Whatley's commitment to "election integrity." Whatley was an ardent supporter of Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump also endorsed one of his senior advisers, Chris LaCivita, for chief operating officer.
"This group of three is highly talented, battle-tested, and smart. They have my complete and total endorsement to lead the Republican National Committee," Trump said in a statement to ABC News.
The news of Trump's endorsements comes as Ronna McDaniel, the current chair of the Republican National Committee, and Trump have discussed the possibility of her resigning, according to multiple people familiar with their conversation.
However, the RNC issued its own statement following Trump’s endorsement of new party leadership, stating that Chairwoman McDaniel would not step down from her post or announce future plans until after the South Carolina GOP primary on Feb. 24.
“Chairwoman McDaniel has been on the road helping elect Republicans up and down the ballot and she will continue working hard to beat Biden this fall. Nothing has changed, and there will be no decision or announcement about future plans until after South Carolina," the RNC spokesperson said.
Trump's endorsements come amid the RNC's slow fundraising ahead of the 2024 election cycle, entering January 2024 with just $8 million in the bank, while its Democratic counterparts had $21 million on hand.
This is partly because the Democratic National Committee has a fundraising advantage over the RNC due to its joint fundraising capability with the reelection campaign of the sitting president, Joe Biden.
During the 2020 election cycle, the RNC and the Trump campaign boasted a massive joint fundraising operation -- raising more than $1.6 billion throughout the two years. Currently, the RNC and Trump raise funds separately.
Trump’s endorsement of his close allies to the national party leadership suggests that efforts to integrate the campaign and the RNC are imminent, which would allow them to raise money together.
Joint fundraising also means the RNC could potentially begin footing Trump’s legal bills, which it did for many years when he was president and after he left office until he declared his candidacy for the 2024 race.
Trump seemingly alluded to a potential joint fundraising operation in announcing his endorsements, stating, “Every penny will be used properly. New Day.”
ABC News' Isabella Murray contributed to this report.
Trump endorses daughter-in-law Lara Trump for RNC co-chair originally appeared on abcnews.go.com