Former President Donald J. Trump is privately discussing endorsing his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as co-chair of the Republican National Committee, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
Mr. Trump has already told those close to him that his preferred choice to replace current RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is Michael Whatley, the committee's general counsel. But he is now also considering choosing Ms. Trump, married to his son Eric, as co-president, people familiar with the matter said. The party regulations designate a male and a female co-president.
Ms. Trump has worked closely with the committee for several years and is considered a prolific fundraiser. She would also enjoy the trust of the Trump family, which has given its imprimatur to nearly every aspect of the former president's political life and closely monitors how resources are allocated.
However, two people described the situation as fluid, given the different moving parts.
Officials from the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not respond to requests for comment. Ms. Trump did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Ms. McDaniel, who has led the party's official organ for several years, told Mr. Trump that she planned to step down shortly after the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24, according to two people briefed on the matter. Mr. Trump has publicly described Ms. McDaniel as a “friend,” but she has been the subject of intense pressure, both inside and outside the Trump campaign.
Mr. Trump's team plans to merge the RNC with his campaign as much as possible, a change from 2016, when he was the insurgent candidate whose team was often at odds with party stalwarts, and from of 2020, when he was an outgoing president with a team that assigned essential functions to the party committee. This time, his team is aiming for as little daylight as possible between the two entities, according to several people briefed on the matter.
But despite Mr. Trump's strong influence on the party, the new president and co-chairman must still run for election among the party's 168 committee members. And Mr. Trump's support for Mr. Whatley in 2023 as co-president was not enough to get him across the finish line and into victory.
Ms. Trump considered running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, which is her and Mr. Whatley's home state, in 2021. But she ultimately chose not to run.
However, some outside supporters of Mr. Trump have spoken favorably of her.