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RNC officials deny ‘litmus test’ related to 2020 election for those seeking employment

Top officials at the Republican National Committee are denying reports that there is a “litmus test” for those seeking employment related to whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen.

The denials come after CNN reported earlier this week that people seeking employment at the RNC were asked over the past few weeks about their views of fraud during the 2020 election, according to two sources familiar with the questioning.

Election fraud has been a key focus for the Donald Trump campaign and the newly elected leadership at the RNC ahead of the 2024 election. Much of that focus stems from the former president’s dissatisfaction with how the RNC handled claims of election fraud around the 2020 election, multiple sources familiar with the matter have said. There is no evidence of widespread election fraud in the last presidential contest.

Without elaborating on the interview questions related to the 2020 election, a top RNC official said on a press call Thursday that it was “obviously not a litmus test” and called such a suggestion “preposterous.”

The official insisted that the line of questioning was deployed to know who out of the RNC’s political staff in battleground states had a “firsthand opinion” or a “view of things they observed” in 2020 and how they would approach the role now.

“The only thing we’re looking for is whether or not frontline people, who are, in theory, supposed to be leading battleground states, have spent any time reflecting on the publicly available information or what they’ve heard over the last four years to come to a conclusion about what they think really happened or didn’t happen,” the official said. “So we’re just wondering if people have even put any thought into this.”

Another official denied that a question about whether the 2020 election was rigged was asked specifically.

“There is a litmus test, and that is, ‘Do you support President Trump or not?’” the official said.

Trump has continued to falsely claim, both publicly and privately, that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and to suggest that President Joe Biden stole the election from him — a rallying cry that has united many GOP voters around him.

Trump’s relationship with former RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel largely fractured over his dissatisfaction with how she handled alleged claims of fraud.

McDaniel and RNC co-chair Drew McKissick stepped down from their roles earlier this month, and Trump’s endorsed candidates – Michael Whatley and Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law – were respectively elected to succeed them.

Trump also installed two of his senior advisers, Chris LaCivita and James Blair, to serve in senior positions at the RNC. LaCivita took on the role of the committee’s chief operating officer, while Blair was selected to help drive the RNC’s political strategy, sources familiar with the plans told CNN. Both will continue in their roles as advisers to Trump’s 2024 campaign.

CLARIFICATION: This headline and story have been updated to reflect that reports of a “litmus test” regarding the 2020 election apply to those who were reapplying for positions with the RNC.

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