Longtime Trump Adviser David Bossie Looks to Take Over the RNC, Sources Say

Longtime Trump adviser and Republican operative Dave Bossie is floating a run for chairman of the Republican National Committee, according to Republicans who spoke with Vanity Fair. But those same Republicans are split on whether the longtime Trump adviser and RNC committee member from Maryland is serious about trying to win the chairmanship next year or simply trying to raise his profile with former president Donald Trump. 

The RNC met in Salt Lake City this week, ostensibly preparing for the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election. But an effort by Bossie to expel representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the party kicked up chatter behind the scenes that he’s gunning for Ronna McDaniel’s job leading the party.

“Bossie has been whipping votes,” said one person close to Bossie, who described the effort to kick out Cheney and Kinzinger as a way to drive a wedge between Trump and McDaniel. 

Bossie has been overseeing the RNC’s presidential-debate committee, and worked with McDaniel this week behind the scenes to tamp down the Cheney-Kinzinger resolution, giving the impression that the two are unlikely to butt heads down the line. 

Bossie denied he was seeking to unseat McDaniel. “Ronna and I have worked together as an effective team for several years now including at the just concluded Salt Lake City meeting,” he told Vanity Fair in a text message after this story was initially published. “Ronna and I worked on several resolutions together and continued our important work on the Presidential Debate Committee.  I have no plans to run for chair of the RNC and folks trying to pit Ronna and I against each other will not succeed.”

In Salt Lake City, the compromise censure of Cheney and Kinzinger arguably gave cover to both sides in the battle—Bossie got to claim a victory over Never Trump Republicans, while McDaniel won with a voice vote on the resolution, preventing a situation where each individual RNC member would have to go on the record and pick a side between the establishment and Trump.

But as in all things political, little is what it seems on the surface. 

Last November, after Wyoming Republicans voted to no longer recognize Cheney as a member of the party, McDaniel told reporters in Washington that “obviously she’s still a Republican.” In the same interview, McDaniel also acknowledged Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. The chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party, William “Frank” Eathorne, has been helping Bossie in the effort to kick out Cheney and Kinzinger. 

The RNC will select its next chair at the start of 2023, for arguably its most important stretch since 2015, marked by jockeying over primaries, debates, fundraising, and ultimately trying to win back the White House—whether it’s with Trump at the top of the ticket or someone else. 

This week’s meeting is one of just two before the party selects its chairman next year where the 168 members of the RNC who will select the next chairman are gathered together in one place—easy pickings for an ambitious pol lobbying for their support. 

“This is a dry run [for next year],” said the person close to Bossie. 

A spokeswoman for the RNC did not reply to an email and text message seeking comment. 

McDaniel has done a remarkable job balancing the interests of the old party establishment and donors against Trump’s interests since Trump selected her to chair the party shortly after the 2016 election. (McDaniel famously talked Trump down from starting a third party in the wake of last year’s attempted coup and has been a constant presence in Trump’s orbit.) 

McDaniel has not yet said whether she will seek a fourth consecutive term running the party, and has deflected questions about her plans, saying she is focused on the 2022 midterm races. 

“His ultimate goal is being RNC chair,” said a second person familiar with Bossie’s maneuvering. “He’s going to have a hard time taking on Ronna. He would at least have to get Trump to weigh in.” 

But other Republicans familiar with Bossie’s efforts doubt that he’s serious about challenging McDaniel for control of the party next year. Instead, they say he’s trying to elevate his profile in Trump’s orbit and party politics.

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