RNC chair contradicts Trump: 'Biden won the election'

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielRNC pushes back against call for chair's resignation over LGBT outreach Conservatives praise Rittenhouse jury verdict RNC chair contradicts Trump: 'Biden won the election' MORE on Thursday acknowledged President BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE's electoral victory over former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE, marking the first time she has explicitly said Biden won the contest a year ago. 

"Painfully, Joe Biden won the election and it's very painful to watch. He's the president. We know that," McDaniel told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington. 

The former president has continued to falsely claim that the 2020 contest was stolen from him, a claim that has been repeated by other Republicans, including many running in next year's midterm elections. 

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McDaniel said that there were "lots of problems" with last year's presidential election. 

"We have to show our voters we are putting processes in place that will ensure the election is fair and transparent," she said. 

The RNC created a "Committee on Election Integrity" in February. 

McDaniel also touted the importance of Trump to the party when it comes to getting voters to the ballot box. 

"If he left the party, Republicans would lose. He has built our party. He has added a new base," she said. 

When asked about 2024 and what role Trump, who has regularly floated but not confirmed another White House bid, could end up playing, McDaniel repeatedly pivoted back to next year's midterms. 

"I think every Republican right now should be talking about 2022. I'm not talking about anything else other than what Biden is doing to destroy our country: high gas prices, an open border, an opioid crisis," she said.