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    RNC lays off dozens after Trump-backed leaders take the helm

    By Caitlin Huey-BurnsFin GómezOlivia Rinaldi,


    Mass layoffs hit RNC days after Trump-backed leadership takeover 06:35

    More than 60 staffers at the Republican National Committee were laid off days after new leaders, who were hand-picked by former President Donald Trump, were elected to take the helm.

    The notices went out Monday to dozens of staffers who worked in the communications, political, data and election integrity divisions of the RNC.

    The layoffs came three days after Michael Whatley, former chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, and Lara Trump, Trump's daughter-in-law, were unanimously elected to chair and co-chair the party.

    Chris LaCivita, Trump's co-campaign manager, and James Blair, a senior Trump campaign adviser, are also working with the RNC but will maintain their positions with the Trump campaign.

    The new leaders and layoffs are part of the effort to "completely streamline the operation" and to "eliminate redundancies" between the campaign and the RNC," a Trump senior campaign official told CBS News. "The goal is to be one operation...We want to make sure we have the most talented people in the most pivotal places."

    Some positions were eliminated because they already existed at the campaign level, and other staff members were asked to resign and reapply.

    A former RNC adviser, who was one of the 60 staffers let go by the new leadership, criticized the changes at the RNC and called it "kind of a bulls*** operation."

    "Their team is not a lot of doers. Their team has a lot of ideas. They just don't have any executors. They are going to run these guys until the wheels fall off, and the wheels fall off pretty quick when it is something on the scale of a presidential campaign," the former adviser said.

    The adviser also said one reason for the culling at the RNC might be to save money, a priority for LaCivita.

    "I think he wants to spend a lot more money on TV, and mail and not so much on infrastructure," the former adviser said. "It worked in 2004 when he was on the Bush campaign, and maybe it works again."

    The Trump campaign and RNC are expected to increase coordination after the president wins enough delegates to secure the GOP nomination, which could come as early as Tuesday. At this point, both entities are trailing President Biden on fundraising.

    The Biden campaign started February with $130 million cash on hand across its affiliated committees, including the DNC. At the same time, the Trump campaign, the RNC and political action committees supporting him had just $65 million cash on hand.

    The resources of the RNC, which was also facing a cash crunch, will be critical to Trump's reelection effort. According to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, the RNC had just $8.7 million in cash on hand.

    "We have to make sure we're smart with the donors' money," Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, told Fox News Tuesday about the RNC shakeup. "If donors are concerned that there's a bureaucracy that's too bloated, and some of the folks in the building have lost their way, now we need to right-size that and make sure that our resources are deployed to people out in the field and not here in Washington."

    Trump is also facing mounting legal fees and fines related to his various criminal and civil court cases. He recently posted a bond of more than $91 million on Friday to appeal the $83 million judgment against him in the defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.

    In February, a judge also ordered Trump to pay over $454 million as a result of the judgment in his civil fraud trial. The former president is also accruing over $100,000 of post-judgment interest in that case each day.

    When asked whether the RNC will pay some of Trump's legal bills, LaCivita bluntly told reporters at a Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina, "No."

    Jacob Rosen, Annie Bryson, and Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.

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