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Michael Steele calls McDaniel’s RNC departure speech ‘messed up as hell’

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) leader Michael Steele went after outgoing chair Ronna McDaniel in her departing speech, arguing it is “messed up as hell” for her to talk about “unity” in the party.

“The unity thing is a two-way street,” Steele said Saturday, a day after McDaniel officially stepped down as RNC chair. “And you don’t have unity when you refer to Republicans like me as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) who’s been in the party for over 50 years.”

His rebuke comes after McDaniel acknowledged Friday that while the Republican Party has “issues,” they need to find unity before the November election.

“We want to make sure that we’re united as we head into this next election,” McDaniel said. “Seven years ago I talked a lot about unity. I talk about it all the time; you guys hear me. We cannot win if we’re divided.”

“We can only win through addition, we cannot win through subtraction, which is why I have worked diligently to expand our tent,” she added.

Steele, the co-host of MSNBC’s “The Weekend” show, argued that unity had already been broken by party infighting.

“You don’t have unity when you disavow and, and break apart the very foundations of a once proud party based on the principles and ideas of Lincoln, and Eisenhower and Reagan and Bush,” he said Saturday, adding that when he was head of the committee, Republicans were winning elections.

“You don’t create, you know, this space for unity when you allow authoritarian, white nationalism, illiberal behavior to overwhelm and consume the very foundations of the party, so y’all need to check the unity conversation amongst yourselves first before you bring it to others,” Steele continued. “Because that’s where the disunity is.”

He added, “It’s not it’s not with me. I was doing just fine till your behind showed up. I was winning elections, right? What did you do?”

McDaniel’s decision to step down was not unexpected, as she announced her plan to resign late last month, following a push from former President Trump, the likely GOP nominee for the White House.

Trump endorsed his preferred pick, North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley, to lead the committee. He also named his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as his preferred RNC co-chair.

The committee formally elected Whatley and Lara Trump to lead the committee, after McDaniel stepped down.

As co-chair, Lara Trump — the wife of Trump’s son Eric — will focus on fundraising as the RNC has fallen behind Democrats in raking in cash ahead of the 2024 election.

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