COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — At least one member of the Republican National Committee is working to stop Donald Trump’s attempt to take control of the organization by pushing to keep the committee neutral until Trump is officially the presidential nominee and avoid paying your legal bills.

Mississippi national committeeman Henry Barbour is circulating two draft resolutions for consideration at the RNC’s next meeting in March in Houston. Barbour said support for the resolutions among RNC members is growing, but it does not yet have the necessary cosponsors and any resolution would ultimately be non-binding.

The effort comes after Trump publicly called last week to replace the current leadership of the Republican National Committee and install one of his top campaign advisers and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump in top positions. Lara Trump suggested earlier this week that Republican voters would support having the committee pay her father-in-law’s legal bills as he faces a series of criminal and civil charges.

Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, whom the former president wants to install as the party’s chief operating officer, told reporters Friday night that the RNC would not pay Trump’s legal bills.

One of Barbour’s proposed resolutions says the RNC and its leadership will remain neutral during the presidential primaries and will not hire additional staff from any active campaigns until a candidate has the delegates needed to be the nominee.

The second resolution says the organization will not pay the legal bills of any candidate for federal or state office, but will instead focus its spending on efforts directly related to the 2024 elections.

“The RNC has a job. That’s winning elections,” Barbour said. “I think RNC funds should be spent only on winning elections, on political spending, not on bills.”

The RNC was paying some of Trump’s legal bills for the New York cases that began while he was president, the Washington Post reported, but current Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in November 2022 that the RNC would stop paying once Trump became a candidate again and began to apply. the 2024 presidential elections.

Trump is spending millions on lawyers in civil cases and four criminal cases, but he also has legal debts exceeding $500 million.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is Trump’s latest major rival in the GOP primary and will face him in her home state race on Saturday, said a family member or campaign manager is not should lead the Republican National Committee.

“I hope people in the RNC know that they have a responsibility, a responsibility to put people in the RNC who will look out for the best interest of the entire Republican Party, not just one person,” Haley said. saying.

The resolutions were first reported by The Dispatch on Saturday.


Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Columbia, South Carolina, and Meg Kinnard in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

By Sam