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RNC circulates resolutions that would slow Trump takeover of party and committee

By Kristen Holmes and Daniel Strauss, CNN

(CNN) — As former President Donald Trump seeks to reshape the structure of the Republican National Committee, there are two resolutions circulating within the RNC that would potentially, if passed by members, slow the process down, according to a draft of the resolutions obtained by CNN.

The first resolution would ensure that the RNC and its leadership maintain neutrality “and not take on additional staff from any of the Presidential campaigns until a nominee is clearly determined by reaching 1,215 delegates.”

Trump is closing in on the Republican presidential nomination, having dominated the early-voting contests so far this year. Campaign officials said in a recent memo that their calculations show the former president poised to earn enough delegates to become the Republican nominee by March 19 at the latest.

Trump said earlier this month that he planned to install senior adviser Chris LaCivita as chief operating officer of the RNC. He also publicly endorsed North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley for RNC chairman earlier this month, alongside Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, as co-chair of the RNC.

“The primary is over and it is the RNC’s sole responsibility to defeat Joe Biden and win back the White House,” LaCivita said in a statement Saturday. “Efforts to delay that assist Joe Biden in the destruction of our nation. Republicans cannot stand on the sidelines and allow this to happen.”

Whatley is the heavy favorite to succeed current RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who has offered to step down after Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary.

When Nikki Haley, Trump’s last remaining major rival in the GOP primary, was asked Saturday who she would want to be the RNC chair if McDaniel steps down, she quipped that it wouldn’t be a family member.

“It wouldn’t be the family member of a candidate,” the former South Carolina governor said. “It wouldn’t be someone who says that all the money is gonna go to Donald Trump when I know that $50 million of campaign contributions went to legal fees last year.”

Two of Trump’s political action committees spent more than $50 million of contributors’ money on legal expenses last year, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The second resolution circulating within the RNC would bar the committee from paying the legal bills of “either former president Donald Trump or former Ambassador Nikki Haley unrelated to this 2024 Presidential election.”

Henry Barbour, a Republican national committeeman from Mississippi, sponsored both resolutions, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Barbour argued that the Trump campaign’s moves to elevate new leadership at the committee was presumptuous.

“I think the Trump campaign has jumped the gun on taking over the RNC before it has the requisite delegates,” Barbour said Saturday in an interview with CNN. “I just think it’s important that we stand up and follow the rules.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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