GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Tuesday ripped former President Trump’s endorsement of his preferred candidates to take over Republican National Committee (RNC) leadership.
He also threw his support behind his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for co-chair, and his senior campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, to serve as the RNC’s chief operating officer.
“Now you go and you look at what he did with the RNC yesterday … he’s going and changing out leadership, so that it’s somebody that he prefers and his daughter-in-law to co-chair?” Haley said in an interview on Fox News Channel.
“He’s putting his campaign manager as the director? Are we gonna let him just take over the party that’s gonna control the convention, too? At what point do we not see the problem? We don’t have kings in this country,” Haley said.
Haley also referenced a proposal, led by a former Trump campaign aide and RNC committee member, that would have declared Trump the party’s presumptive nominee. Trump ultimately came out against the effort, which has since been withdrawn. But Tuesday, Trump appeared to refer to himself as the party’s “presumptive nominee” as he made his RNC leadership endorsements.
“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 in a statement on his RNC leadership endorsements.
“That means helping to ensure fair and transparent elections across the country, getting out the vote everywhere — even in parts of the country where it won’t be easy — and working with my campaign, as the Republican presumptive nominee for President, to win this election and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote.
Haley is the last major candidate standing between Trump and the Republican presidential nomination, and the pair are just over a week out from the first-in-the-South GOP primary Feb. 24.
Trump has scored wins in the early-state contests so far, beating Haley in Iowa and New Hampshire last month and then securing all the delegates on the table in Nevada.
The former president’s endorsement of his preferred RNC candidates is not a guarantee that they’ll take over, as the matter comes down to the RNC’s leadership elections.