Home News Trump Aides, Taking Over R.N.C., Order Mass Layoffs

Trump Aides, Taking Over R.N.C., Order Mass Layoffs

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Trump Aides, Taking Over R.N.C., Order Mass Layoffs

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Days after allies took over the Republican National Committee, Donald J. Trump’s advisers are imposing mass layoffs on the party, with more than 60 officials, including senior staff members, laid off or asked to resign and then reapply for their jobs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The swift changes amount to a gutting of the party apparatus eight months before the November election, with one person familiar with the operations estimating that the R.N.C. had only about 200 people on payroll at the end of February, and about 120 at its headquarters near Capitol Hill. The heads of the communications, data and political departments were among those let go.

On Friday, Michael Whatley, a close ally to Mr. Trump, and Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, were unanimously elected as the committee’s chair and co-chair. Mr. Trump had pushed out Ronna McDaniel, the committee’s leader since 2017, and endorsed Mr. Whatley and Ms. Trump to take the reins of the national party.

Chris LaCivita, one of Mr. Trump’s top campaign advisers, was tapped to serve as the chief operating officer, and he was at the party headquarters meeting with senior staff on Monday.

The purge of R.N.C. staff members was first reported by Politico. It is not clear that Mr. Trump is done clearing house.

One person with direct knowledge of the changes said the party’s full finance and digital teams were now planned to be moved to Palm Beach, Fla., where the Trump campaign is based. Another person described the party and Trump operations as being functionally fused into one.

Some of those who were asked to reapply were offered a generic email to make their interest in rejoining known, according to an email to staff from Sean Cairncross, a former top R.N.C. official who had just returned to the committee.

“Certain staff are being asked to resign and reapply,” Mr. Cairncross wrote, according to a copy of the email. “If you choose to not reapply, your last day of employment will be March 31.”

His email appeared to have been drafted so hastily that he misspelled his own last name.

The R.N.C. shake-up reflects Mr. Trump’s tightened grip over the Republican Party and its institutions at a time when he has nearly clinched the presidential nomination. In addition to Monday’s changes, Mike Reed, who had served as chief of staff under Ms. McDaniel, had recently stepped down at the end of February.

Mr. LaCivita had previewed significant changes for the R.N.C. after its leadership overhaul, telling reporters on Friday: “The R.N.C. today, it’s not going to look the same next week. There’s obviously going to be changes.”

Some Republicans worry that the former president will use committee money to pay his legal bills. Ms. Trump has previously said she would be open to the idea, saying that the move would be popular among Republican voters and “a big interest to people.”

Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the Republican primary race last week, had loudly complained of Mr. Trump’s grip over the party, and claimed that if Mr. Trump won the nomination, he would use the national committee as “his piggy bank for his personal court cases” before losing the election.

Charlie Kirk, who leads the pro-Trump youth organization Turning Point USA, cheered the cuts on social media, described the firings as a “bloodbath at the R.N.C.”

“This is excellent,” Mr. Kirk said. “The anti-Trump sleeper cells all have to go. The R.N.C. is getting ready to win.”

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