RNC staff and new staff asked if they think the 2020 election was stolen
RNC staff and new staff asked if they think the 2020 election was stolen

Michael Wike/AP

Chairman-elect Michael Watley, left, and Co-Chair Lara Trump, right, greet attendees as they crowd the podium after the general session of the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting, Friday, March 8, 2024, in Houston.



CNN

Current and potential Republican National Committee staffers have been asked in recent job interviews whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen, according to two sources familiar with the questioning.

Over the past few weeks, Trump advisers have asked current and potential RNC staffers about their views on fraud in the 2020 election, the question serving as an apparent litmus test for the hiring, the sources said.

The use of the question comes after the Trump campaign effectively merged its operations with the RNC.

The Washington Post first reported the content of the interview questions.

A key focus for the Trump campaign and newly elected RNC leadership ahead of the 2024 election is election fraud. Much of that focus stems from former President Donald Trump’s displeasure with the RNC’s handling of election fraud allegations surrounding the 2020 election, multiple sources familiar with the matter said. There is no evidence of widespread election fraud in the last presidential race.

“Candidates who have worked on the front lines in battleground states or are currently in states where fraud allegations are prevalent were asked about their work experience. We want experienced staff with meaningful views about how elections are won and lost and opinions based on real experience about what’s happening in the trenches,” RNC spokesman Daniel Alvarez told CNN.

Trump advisers have also told potential new hires they should plan to relocate to West Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump’s campaign is headquartered, the sources said.

The new questions about the appointment come as Trump continues to falsely claim, both publicly and privately, that the 2020 election was riddled with fraud and suggests 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 Rona McDaniel largely fell apart over the former president’s displeasure with how she handled the alleged fraud allegations.

Shortly after former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley dropped out of the Republican primary and effectively made Trump the GOP presidential nominee, two Trump allies slid into roles at the top of the RNC leadership.

The Trump-backed candidates — North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump — were quickly elected as the organization’s new chairman and co-chair, respectively, at the RNC’s spring meeting in Houston, Texas.

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

In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McDaniel said Trump “absolutely wanted me out and wanted Michael Whatley and Lara Trump to come in.”

McDaniel added that while he believes there are still concerns about election security in the United States, Biden won the 2020 election “fairly and squarely.” (McDaniel, who made the comments after being named a paid political analyst for NBC News, was fired from the network on Tuesday after backlash from the network’s top anchors for her role in undermining the 2020 election and attacks on the press. )

While chair of the RNC, McDaniel refused to recognize that Biden had won the 2020 election. She also participated in a 2020 phone call to pressure Michigan county officials not to certify the Detroit-area vote, where Biden had a leading role.

Trump advisers have since described the current relationship between the campaign and the RNC as “symbiotic,” where they will operate largely as one.

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