MIAMI, Florida — Former President Donald Trump declined to endorse either incumbent Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel or her challenger, RNC national committeewoman from California Harmeet Dhillon in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News here on Friday.
“Harmeet is a lawyer for me you know,” Trump said when asked about the two candidates. “Harmeet is my lawyer.”
When asked whether that means he favors her or McDaniel—the current chair whom Trump selected after his 2016 White House victory and backed again in her subsequent reelection as chair—he declined to pick a specific candidate.
“I think they’re both good,” Trump said. “I like them both. It’s like when I asked Queen Elizabeth when we were together: ‘Which president did you like the best?’ She said: ‘I liked them all.’ ‘Which one did you like the best?’ ‘I liked them all. They’re all great.’ I said, ‘But didn’t you like Ronald Reagan the best?’ She said: ‘No I liked them all. I liked Ronald Reagan very much, but I liked them all.’ Then I said: ‘Which prime minister did you like the best? Was it Winston Churchill?’ ‘I like them all. I like every one.’ Then I realized how smart she was. I said, you know that’s why she stayed there for 75 years.’”
The race between McDaniel and Dhillon has been heating up in recent weeks, and Trump’s decision to stay neutral could have major implications for or against either candidate. The ultimate winner will be decided in late January by a vote of the 168 RNC members. Membership in the RNC’s powerful 168 includes state and territory party chairs and the national committeeman and committeewoman from each state and territory. Dhillon, as a member of the 168, is a voting member in this election.
Dhillon has emerged as the main challenger to McDaniel after outgoing Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)—who ran a much-stronger-than-expected gubernatorial race in New York this year, helping carry several down-ticket and especially U.S. House candidates to victory—bowed out after considering a challenge. MyPillow’s Mike Lindell has announced a campaign of his own.
Spending decisions at the RNC have become a focus of the race as of late, in particular, with Dhillon and her allies bashing McDaniel’s choices on how to use party committee money. McDaniel’s allies have fired back, defending the incumbent chairwoman, arguing that the things Dhillon has highlighted were legitimate expenses.
Trump’s latest interview with Breitbart News happened here Friday morning at his Doral golf resort in Miami, and much more from it is forthcoming in the coming days. Trump’s decision not to endorse in the RNC chair race contrasts with his decision to unequivocally back House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy in the House Speakership election upcoming on Jan. 3. As Breitbart News already reported on Friday, Trump said in the interview he not only supports McCarthy but he called on McCarthy’s critics to stand down and support him in the race, warning of “dangerous” consequences that could arise if McCarthy does not get the speakership.