The RNC will meet privately after Trump allies pull resolution to call him the ‘presumptive nominee’

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Dec. 19, 2023, in Waterloo, Iowa. Police said Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, they are investigating incidents directed at Colorado Supreme Court justices and providing extra patrols around their homes in Denver following the court's decision to remove Trump from the state's presidential primary ballot. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

The Republican National Committee is meeting behind closed doors this week as some allies of Donald Trump had hoped to put the group’s stamp on the former president early in the 2024 GOP presidential nominating campaign.

But a proposed resolution to declare Trump the presumptive nominee has been removed from the agenda before the committee is scheduled to meet in Las Vegas this week, party officials said.


The reversal comes as the first two early-state contests have winnowed the Republican campaign down to two major candidates, with Trump as the heavy favorite and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley vowing to continue her uphill challenge.

What was expected to be an uneventful RNC winter meeting in Las Vegas this week briefly gained heightened attention last week after the resolution, introduced by Maryland Committeeman David Bossie, to name Trump the presumptive nominee became public.

Bossie was Trump’s deputy campaign manager in 2016 and advised his team when Congress pursued a second impeachment after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Within hours of the resolution’s leak, Trump batted down the proposal, which some members of the committee criticized publicly as premature.

“While they have far more votes than necessary to do it, I feel, for the sake of PARTY UNITY, that they should NOT go forward with this plan,” Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social.

The entire meeting, which runs Tuesday through Friday, is closed to the press, a departure from past practices. Typically the gatherings have included at least one open general session with a speech from the chair at the end of a series of meetings on rules, resolutions and budget.

There is no formal RNC rule barring the party from declaring a presumptive nominee. And there is precedent for such a move. In 2016, then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive nominee after the Indiana primary, though that was in May and Trump had battled Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for three months since Cruz finished first in the leadoff Iowa caucuses ahead of second-place Trump.

The Associated Press only uses the term once a candidate has captured the number of delegates needed to win a majority vote at the national party conventions this summer.

That point won’t come until after more states have voted. For both Republicans and Democrats, the earliest it could happen is March.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel suggested last week that Haley had no path to the nomination in light of Trump’s majority vote totals in the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses and the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary.

“We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump, and we need to make sure we beat Joe Biden,” McDaniel said in a Fox News interview the night of the New Hampshire primary.

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