Administration

Trump asked RNC chairwoman to stop using ‘Romney’ in her name: report

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President Trump asked current Republican National Committee (RNC) head Ronna Romney McDaniel if she would be willing to stop using her middle name publicly before she became chairwoman, according to The Washington Post.

The report comes amid revelations that the president is encouraging Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to run for reelection as a means of blocking former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney from running for the seat. 

McDaniel, who is Romney’s niece, has used the family name for much of her career, however, she appears to have stopped using it in party communications as of late.

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The RNC dismissed the report in a statement to The Hill. 
 
“This is silly, we use both iterations of her name interchangeably,” RNC press secretary Cassie Smedile said. 

Before taking her post at the RNC, McDaniel served as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, where her grandfather George Romney was governor. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House and the RNC for comment. 

The president and Romney have had a fraught history. 

Trump endorsed Romney for president in 2012, however Romney proved to be one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics during the 2016 campaign, calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.”

Romney was later thought to be on Trump’s shortlist for secretary of State during the transition, however, the president ended up choosing Rex Tillerson for the nation’s top diplomatic post. 

Romney has voiced his grievances with the administration, most notably in the aftermath of the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., after which he said the president had caused “the vast heart of America to mourn.”

-Updated 11:47 a.m. Dec. 10

Tags Donald Trump Orrin Hatch Rex Tillerson

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