How Trump Hopes to Use Party Machinery to Retain Control of the G.O.P.


“At the end of the day, this is the president’s party and this will continue to be the president’s party,” said State Senator Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. “He will have an oversized role no matter what happens.”

Mr. Barnett, of Arkansas, said he had relayed his concerns to Ms. McDaniel about the committee not seeming to favor any one potential 2024 contender and had the impression that “she probably agrees with me.”

Ms. McDaniel was more clear about her commitment to independence with four other Republicans, some committee members and some not, according to each of the Republicans, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

She assured them that she, and not Mr. Trump and his family, would control the party’s finances and that she would resist any pressure the Trumps put on her to mobilize the party against incumbent Republicans who are not pro-Trump. Most strikingly, she told one party leader that if the committee does not rally to her, she will be succeeded by somebody even closer to the president, such as Donald Trump Jr. or his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

“If you have a suburban woman problem, Don is not your answer — nor is Kimberly,” said Ms. Comstock, the former Virginia congresswoman.

Aides to the president’s son and Ms. Guilfoyle have said they are not interested in the job. Some senior Republicans said another Trump ally, David Bossie, is being mentioned as a co-chair.

This “alternative-would-be-worse” theory, along with a deeper apathy about the national party, has prompted a number of Republican lawmakers and strategists to make peace with Ms. McDaniel’s serving another term. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and Representative Leader Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, have both endorsed her re-election in recent days.



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