Having secured the Republican nomination, Trump and allies shuffle RNC leadership

Plus, RFK Jr.'s celebrity VP options.

Top Headlines

After handily wrapping up the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump and his political allies continue to remake the party in his image — including staffing the Republican National Committee (RNC) with election deniers. The former president cleaned house at the RNC by firing many long-time staffers in favor of loyalists, reorienting field strategy and reallocating resources for the upcoming election.

Most of the RNC’s executive leadership was reconstituted, while middle management focusing on localized efforts was either rearranged or removed. 

Trump’s campaign advisor, Chris LaCivita, led the charge. LaCivita is notorious in Washington for having helped manufacture the “Swiftboat” controversy that impacted the campaign of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. 

“It is about changing a mindset,” LaCivita told the Washington Post yesterday. “The RNC is as much a part of the Trump campaign as the Trump campaign is part of the RNC. It is really important from our standpoint that everyone understands in a campaign that will be unprecedented in history that everyone has the same stated goal.”

Key members of the new RNC include Sean Cairncross, a one-time adviser to Trump during his time at the White House; James Blair, a colleague of Trump’s top lap dog Susie Wiles; Charlie Spies, who was a crucial member of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presidential campaign; and Christina Bobb, an OAN broadcaster who recently authored the book “Stealing Your Vote: The Inside Story of the 2020 Election and What It Means for 2024.”

Bobb will oversee the senior counsel for election integrity. “I’m honored to join the RNC and thrilled the new leadership is focused on election integrity,” Bobb wrote in a statement. “I look forward to working to secure our elections and restore confidence in the process.”  

In other election news, independent candidate for president Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed that he is considering the New York Jets’ superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers to be his vice presidential pick. Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is also being considered as a potential running mate. Kennedy has courted and been rejected by the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), former Hawaiin congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Silicon Valley stalwart and two-time Democratic candidate for president and mayor of New York City, Andrew Yang. 

Rodgers, like Kennedy, has become a key celebrity in the anti-vax movement. And both Rodgers and Ventura would offer Kennedy — who Democrats believe could spoil their chances at winning the upcoming presidential race by siphoning independent votes away from Biden — an eclectic, bizarre mix of left-wing and right-wing political perspectives. 

Average polling results suggest that Kennedy could pull in as much as 11% of the total national vote.  

Local Lens

Republicans in the Wisconsin state senators have resumed blocking Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) government appointments. Yesterday, the 22 GOP members of the state Senate used their majority in the legislature to decline the nomination of Mildred Gonzalez to the Council on Domestic Abuse, who had unanimous, bipartisan support up until that point. Such filibustering has been part of a broader GOP strategy to undermine the governor’s bureaucratic capacity: Wisconsin Republicans recently fired eight Evers appointees without explanation.

In total, 21 Evers appointees have been removed by Republicans over the past five years. 

“It’s obvious this is about Wisconsin Republicans exacting their political punishment and retribution on Wisconsinites who’ve volunteered to give their time, expertise and experience to serve our neighbors and our state,” Evers told the Associated Press. 

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Jamie Larson