Lara Trump says she thinks GOP voters would like to see RNC pay Donald Trump’s legal fees


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and handpicked choice to help lead the Republican National Committee said she thinks Republican voters would support having the political organization pay the former president’s ballooning legal fees.

Lara Trump said Wednesday while campaigning for her father-in-law ahead of the South Carolina primary that she was not familiar with the RNC’s rules about paying Donald Trump’s legal fees in a multitude of criminal and civil cases.

But she said she thought the idea would get broad support among GOP voters who see his legal cases as political persecution.

“That’s why people are furious right now. And they see the attacks against him. They feel like it’s an attack not just on Donald Trump but on this country,” she said. “So yeah I think that is a big interest to people, absolutely.”

In addition to the millions he is spending on lawyers, Trump’s legal debts now top half a billion dollars.

Trump, though the front-runner in the GOP presidential primary, has not yet become the Republican nominee. That did not stop him last week from publicly calling to remove the RNC’s current leaders and suggest Lara Trump should serve as co-chair. He proposed Michael Whatley, the current chair of the North Carolina GOP, to serve as chair.

She told reporters on Wednesday that GOP voters will feel more trust in the RNC by having a Trump family member installed in leadership.

“Having someone like me in there I think will go a long way for people. I can assure you that my loyalty is to my father-in-law and I will make sure that every penny is used properly,” she said. “It should be going to fight for Nov. 5 for the causes that we care about.”

Those causes were electing Trump president in November, growing the Republican majority in the House with “patriots, America first candidates” and winning back control of the Senate, she said.

Current Chair Ronna McDaniel has privately agreed no changes would take place until after South Carolina’s primary on Saturday, and the RNC is not expected to formalize changes until it meets later in the spring.

Though McDaniel herself was once handpicked by Donald Trump to lead the party’s political machine, the former president had grown frustrated with her as some of his allies complained about the party’s losses in recent elections, the party’s finances and a perception that the party did not do enough to focus on voter fraud, which Trump has blamed for his 2020 election loss. That’s despite his own Justice Department saying there was no evidence of widespread fraud and Trump’s team losing more than 50 lawsuits over the election.

Lara Trump, speaking to Trump supporters and volunteers on Wednesday, said she intended to have the RNC “fight fire with dynamite” when it came to ensuring the party was doing everything it could to win Trump the election, including early voting and so-called ballot harvesting, which the party has already started pushing.

The proposed leadership change also raises questions about how an emboldened Trump would work his will on the party. Trump already gets involved in down-ballot Republican primary races for the House, Senate and other offices and has endorsed the opponents of Republicans he has seen as disloyal.

Lara Trump said if she is made co-chair of the RNC, her loyalty would be to her father-in-law, but she believed the organization would stick to its policy of staying neutral in primary contests, saying, “I don’t know why we would change course on that now.”

But she drew a different line with the presidential primary, where former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is still running against Trump.

“The RNC will be supporting the whoever the Republican nominee for president is,” Lara Trump said. “I think we all know that’s going to be Donald Trump.”

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