RNC Chair dodges questions over Trump’s Veterans Day post

Ronna McDANIEL 2023

Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Ronna McDaniel appeared to dodge questions over former President Trump’s Veteran’s Day post where he pledged to “root out the Communist, Marxist, racist and radical left thugs,” saying she will not comment on candidates and their messaging.

Asked by NBC “Meet the Press” anchor Kristen Welker if McDaniel is comfortable with the language being used by the former president, she said, “I am not going to comment on candidates and their campaign messaging. I will say this, I know President Trump supports the veterans, our whole party supports our veterans. And I do think we’re at a very serious moment in our country.”

McDaniel then turned the conversation to the RNC debate last week hosted by NBC News with Salem Radio Network and the Republican Jewish Coalition as debate partners. Five GOP rivals took the debate stage in Miami, while Trump notably did not attend, instead holding a rally about 15 miles away in Florida.

Trump came under fire on Saturday for his post on Truth Social where he wrote, “In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream.”

“The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave, than the threat from within. Despite the hatred and anger of the Radical Left Lunatics who want to destroy our Country, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he continued.

Trump then used similar language later on Saturday while speaking to a crowd in New Hampshire, according to The New York Times.

In a separate post on Truth Social on Saturday, Trump shared a different Veteran’s Day message, writing, “Our Veterans will never stop fighting for the America we cherish. The full measure of your sacrifice and your family’s dedication in support of your service may not be fully understood and appreciated, but it will never be forgotten.”

McDaniel was also asked about the post by CNN anchor “Dana Bash” on “State of the Union,” to which the RNC chair said, “I’m not going to talk about candidates that are in a contested primary.”

Further pressed if she would condemn that, McDaniel said, “You can talk to him about what he’s saying. I haven’t seen the whole speech,” before Bash interjected to clarify it was a social media post.

“Obviously, we support our veterans,” McDaniel continued. “And we’re in a primary right now. And the RNC is doing our best to make sure we’re getting our candidates visibility, as we are taking on [President] Biden,” further pointing to issues with the nation’s economy.

Trump’s posts came amid a series of presidential candidates who took to social media on the day of remembrance on Saturday to thank military members and veterans.

Trump has declined to attend the RNC’s three presidential primary debates this campaign season, citing his strong lead over his GOP rivals as why he does not need to attend. Recent polling from FiveThirtyEight show Trump leads far ahead, with 56.6 percent of the primary vote, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing behind with 14.1 percent. The rest of the candidates all have under 10 percent support.

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