Former US president Donald Trump (File photo)
Former president Donald Trump "still leads" the GOP, says the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) despite the committee vowing to remain neutral if Trump runs again in 2024.
In an interview on WABC 770 AM in New York, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel touted the former Republican presidentís fundraising abilities after he recently reported over $100 million available on hand entering the second half of 2021.
"You know, I always say go back to the voter, and I think when you see the amount of people that show up to the rallies for President Trump and this $102 million fundraising haul, I think the voters in America - Republicans in America - would absolutely say the presidentís the most popular Republican and still leads the party," McDaniel told host John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable."
Trump was defeated in the 2020 election, then lost dozens of court cases trying to delegitimise the results.
Although he has not yet said whether he will run for president again in 2024, he has raised tens of millions of dollars.
A recent report showed he remains the partyís biggest fundraiser, raising more than $50 million this year.
He helped raise about $56 million from online donors during the first six months of 2021, according to a campaign finance disclosure.
That amount of money is more than what was raised by any of the official fundraising wings of the GOP, and more than any other GOP figure.
As Republicans turn their attention to 2022ís midterms elections, GOP leaders have signaled a desire for Trump to help drum up support for House and Senate candidates.
Earlier this year, McDaniel said the RNC would "stay neutral" in the next Republican presidential competition if Trump were to run again but expressed a desire for him to campaign for congressional Republicans.
"Iím not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024," she told The Associated Press in January. "Thatís going to be up to those candidates going forward. What I really do want to see him [Trump] do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022."
In the interview aired Sunday, she claimed that since Democratic President Joe Biden took office, "itís pretty much been all ugly," citing immigration crisis, rising inflation and higher gas prices.
She also criticized progressives for their efforts to get rid of the Senate filibuster and reshape the judiciary, including proposals which aim to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court.
"Our countryís at stake. Itís not just Democrat versus Republican. Itís Republican versus communism," she said. "They want to take your ... freedom of speech away, your freedom of religion."
"We wonít recognize America if we donít win this next election," she added.