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RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel will leave post on March 8 as Trump moves to install new loyalists

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel will leave her post on March 8, having been forced out of the GOP’s national leadership as Donald Trump moves toward another presidential nomination and asserts control over the party.

McDaniel announced her decision in a statement on Monday morning.

“I have decided to step aside at our Spring Training on March 8 in Houston to allow our nominee to select a Chair of their choosing," McDaniel said in the statement. “The RNC has historically undergone change once we have a nominee and it has always been my intention to honor that tradition.”

The move was not a surprise. Trump earlier in the month announced his preference for North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley, a little-known veteran operative focused in recent years on the prospect of voter fraud, to replace McDaniel. Trump also picked his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, to serve as committee co-chair.

Steve Peoples, The Associated Press