Trump's Team is Slashing Republican National Committee Staff Amid Takeover, AP Sources Say

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just days after installing his new leadership team at the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump's lieutenants are cutting dozens of staff across key departments in an aggressive move that further cements the former president's takeover of the GOP's political and fundraising machinery.

More than 60 people were fired in all, including senior staff in the political, data and communications departments inside the committee's Washington headquarters. The cuts also included staff that ran the committee's celebrated community centers, which were focused on building relationships with minority groups in some Democratic-leaning states.

The sweeping overhaul was confirmed by multiple people with direct knowledge of the cuts who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the moves publicly.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., celebrated news of the staffing cuts, suggesting they send a clear message about the direction of the GOP.

"MAGA is now in control of the Republican Party!!" Greene wrote on X, referencing Trump's "Make America Great Again" movement. "We will continue to need everyone's help all the way across the finish line! Do not grow weary."

Trump's lieutenants telegraphed major changes late last week as Republican National Committee members gathered in Houston to approve his hand-picked leadership team, which includes his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as the committee co-chair. Michael Whatley, a former North Carolina GOP chairman, replaced Ronna McDaniel as the chair.

The cuts are designed to eliminate duplication as the Trump campaign and the RNC work to become essentially one organization, said Chris LaCivita, a Trump campaign senior adviser who who took over as the RNC chief of staff after Friday's vote.

"This is Republicans streamlining," LaCivita said Monday night.

Staffers were notified of the cuts in an email Monday afternoon from the committee's new chief operating officer, Sean Cairncross, who offered people an opportunity to reapply for their jobs.

The email, obtained by The Associated Press, indicated that those who choose not to reapply for their jobs would need to leave by the end of March. Some staffers were told to leave their positions immediately on Monday afternoon, however.

"Chairman Whatley is in the process of evaluating the organization and staff to ensure the building is aligned with his vision of how to win in November," Cairncross wrote in the email.

News of the shakeup was first reported by Politico.

The Trump campaign and the RNC have worked closely in past elections, but the new overhaul marks an unprecedented level of integration between the former president's campaign and the GOP's formal political and fundraising apparatus, which is tasked with helping Republicans win elections up and down the ballot. The size and scope of the new changes within the GOP's formal political and fundraising apparatus may take several weeks to become clear.

Aware of internal concerns about the level of the committee's commitment to Trump, LaCivita said last week that "not a penny of the RNC's money" would go to pay Trump's mounting legal fees.

In her farewell address Friday, McDaniel insisted that the Republican Party must come together in order to defeat President Joe Biden this fall. She said she worries most about "internal cohesion" heading into the election.

"We have to stop the attacking other Republicans," she said. "If we spend our time attacking each other, we guarantee the Democrats are going to win."