WATCH: Donald Trump Praises Ronna McDaniel, Says He Was 'Instrumental' in Her Appointment

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Donald Trump praised controversial RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Friday, bragging that he was "instrumental in getting her to the head of the RNC." 

That came during an interview on Newsmax in which the host suggested that the RNC was trying to sabotage the former president by allowing Fox News to host two primary debates. Trump responded by making a distinction between the two entities, saying that McDaniel "is very good" while claiming his role in her rise.

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HOST: So the RNC kind of seems out to get you. I mean, listen, Fox, Fox has turned on you, not all of them but most of them, and the RNC arranged two debates at Fox News. It seems like they, maybe they did that because they had the understanding that you might not be treated fairly over there on Fox News. What do you think of that?

TRUMP: No, I think the RNC has been good to me, I really do. You know, to go with, I think Ronna’s a really good person, we’ve gotten along for a long time. She ran my whole Michigan area when I won Michigan in 2016. I then did much better in 2020 than I did in 2016, but that's another story, but she ran Michigan, and she won, and because of that I was instrumental in getting her to the head of the RNC. She's very good, she's a very good person.

I'm not sure why this Newsmax host believes that the RNC is out to get Trump given its long history supporting the former president, but to the former president's credit, he corrected the record and gave an honest answer.

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As Trump notes, he was the person who elevated Ronna McDaniel to her position as chairwoman in 2017 (after Reince Priebus resigned to be the then-president's chief of staff). Further, even though he didn't explicitly endorse her latest campaign (the RNC vote took place in January of 2023), his top advisor, Susie Wiles, whipped votes to ensure McDaniel was re-elected. It has been obvious for a very long time that Trump and the RNC are very close and connected. 

In fact, it was McDaniel who controversially invited various Trump surrogates into the spin room of the first GOP debate despite the former president not showing up. In the end, some got in (such as Rep. Byron Donalds) while others didn't have the proper credentials. 

Trump's praise of McDaniel will likely not sit well with many Republicans who have developed a strong opposition to the chairwoman. Since she assumed her leadership position, the GOP has lost three major election cycles in a row, with the RNC becoming more famous for sending out emails that resemble scams than actually delivering victories for conservatives.

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Regardless, no matter what one feels about McDaniel and Trump's ongoing support of her, there is no question they are responsible for whatever happens in 2024 (assuming Trump's large lead in the primary holds). When people take control of the highest levels of power within a party, blaming the "establishment" no longer works as an excuse. Definitionally, they are now the establishment, and they should be expected to deliver or face the consequences.

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