succession
November 22, 2020

There are members of the Republican Party who are worried that Ronna McDaniel's desire to remain as the chair of the Republican National Committee could mean President Trump will retain control of the group and, therefore, the GOP even after he's out of the White House, The New York Times reports. McDaniel is a close ally of Trump, and wary Republicans suspect she could allow Trump to mobilize the party against incumbents he doesn't consider loyal enough.

But McDaniel has reportedly attempted to assure the doubters that she'll remain independent of Trump and his family, four Republicans told the Times on condition of anonymity. Besides, if it's not her, the risk of an even more pro-Trump chair could emerge, she reportedly told one party leader, warning that her successor could be someone like Donald Trump, Jr. or his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Aides to Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle have said neither is interested in the job, but the possibility could be enough for McDaniel to reel in the support she needs, given the party is concerned it could continue to lose its grip on suburban voters. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

September 9, 2019

Donald Trump Jr. is gradually emerging as his father's political heir, usurping his sister, Ivanka, who has long been considered President Trump's favorite, The Atlantic reports.

It wasn't always this way. Trump Jr. was reportedly angling for a larger role in his father's 2016 presidential campaign, especially when campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was on the way out. The infamous Trump Tower meeting was reportedly a result of Trump Jr.'s efforts to take Lewandowski's post, though a spokesperson for Trump, Jr. dismissed the idea. "The Trump Tower meeting was was Don's move to take over the campaign," a former aide told The Atlantic. "He was trying to show his father he was competent."

People close to Trump reportedly knew he would never entrust his campaign to his eldest son, but that was a long time ago. It appears that Trump Jr. has managed to shift the perspective of his father, who has reportedly begun to appreciate his son's political value. Some of that is owed, in part, to Ivanka's diminishing star. Trump reportedly grew tired of the causes she and her husband, Jared Kushner, lobbied for, including climate issues, and would mockingly describe them as "New York liberals."

Trump Jr. has also received accolades from powerful Republicans who praise his "accessibility" and "irreverence," contrasting with his sister's more private and careful methods. "I can honestly say that outside of his father, Don is the No. 1 most requested speaker, and he brings the most energy to the conservative base," said Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA.

If the Trump family establishes a political dynasty, as the campaign hopes, it would seem — for the moment, at least — that Trump Jr. will be the first to carry the torch. Read more at The Atlantic. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads