Ally at R.N.C. Wants Party to Aid Trump’s Effort to Push Haley Out


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One of Donald J. Trump’s key allies inside the Republican National Committee is trying to force the party’s official body to say that the G.O.P. presidential nominating contest is effectively over, even though only two states have voted and Nikki Haley has vowed to continue her campaign against the dominant front-runner.

David Bossie, an R.N.C. committeeman from Maryland and a longtime Trump confidant, has proposed a draft resolution proclaiming Mr. Trump the party’s “presumptive” nominee, according to two people with direct knowledge of his role in the effort.

Mr. Bossie previewed his plan in an interview with the television host Chris Cuomo on NewsNation after Mr. Trump won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

“Donald Trump is the apparent nominee at this point,” Mr. Bossie said, adding that he would bring up the issue at the R.N.C.’s meeting next week in Las Vegas. “It’s over and it is time for us to come together.”

The resolution has no practical effect on the primary elections taking place, which are run at the state level by local officials, some of whom are R.N.C. members but are required by state party rules to remain neutral. Resolutions such as Mr. Bossie’s do not force the R.N.C. to do anything or change the process for how candidates accrue delegates.

Still, there may be a number of people who want to back the resolution, in a symbolic show of support for Mr. Trump. And it could give cover to the committee to start moving formally to back him in a general election, as Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, faces pressure from a number of Republican officials to end her candidacy.

The news website The Dispatch first reported on the resolution. The document, which was independently obtained by The New York Times, states, in part, that “the Republican National Committee hereby declares President Trump as our presumptive 2024 nominee for the office of President of the United States and from this moment forward moves into full general election mode welcoming supporters of all candidates as valued members of Team Trump 2024.”

Asked how the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, planned to respond to the Bossie resolution, an R.N.C. spokesman, Keith Schipper, said that Ms. McDaniel did not bring forward resolutions, but that members of the R.N.C. did.

Mr. Bossie’s resolution “will be taken up by the Resolutions Committee,” Mr. Schipper said, “and they will decide whether to send this resolution to be voted on by the 168 R.N.C. members at our annual meeting next week.”

Mr. Bossie, who did not respond to requests for comment, had overseen the debates committee for the R.N.C. A top adviser for the Trump campaign, Chris LaCivita, declined to comment on the resolution.

The Trump campaign is desperate to end the primary contest as soon as possible to conserve resources for an expected billion-dollar-plus general-election clash with President Biden. Mr. Trump is also facing mounting legal fees and the potential for multiple trials before the election. Senior Trump advisers are eager to take control of the R.N.C. and its treasury, even before its July nominating convention, in Milwaukee, when the nominee will be officially voted on.

In the G.O.P. contest so far, Mr. Trump leads Ms. Haley in delegates, 32 to 17.

It is not the first time that people supporting Mr. Trump have been accused of trying to rig the party system in his favor. In the past, officials working for the super PAC that supported Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who was once Mr. Trump’s main rival, accused the Trump campaign of having “rigged” the delegate process in various states.

In response to the push to declare Mr. Trump the presumptive nominee, Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman for the Haley campaign, said in a statement: “Who cares what the R.N.C. says? We’ll let millions of Republican voters across the country decide who should be our party’s nominee, not a bunch of Washington insiders.”

Mr. Bossie’s draft resolution comes soon after Ms. McDaniel, the R.N.C. chairwoman, put her own thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, after his 11-point win over Ms. Haley in New Hampshire.

“I think there is a message from the voters which is clear: We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump,” Ms. McDaniel told Fox News on Tuesday night.

Her comments infuriated Haley supporters, including Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who described her remarks as “nonsense.”

Ms. McDaniel has been under intense pressure from several influential figures on the right, including the former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who have portrayed her as out of touch with the Trump movement, and have criticized election losses during her tenure and depleted R.N.C. finances.

Until New Hampshire, Ms. McDaniel had presented herself as neutral in the nominating contest, though her close personal relationship with Mr. Trump had raised suspicions among some of the former president’s rivals. Mr. Trump’s top aides had been urging Ms. McDaniel, both publicly and privately, to put an early end to Republican primary debates, a move she had resisted.

Mr. Trump and his allies across all levels of the party are pushing hard to declare Mr. Trump the inevitable nominee, and to snuff out his one remaining challenger, Ms. Haley.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Trump threatened Republican donors, posting on his social media website that anyone who makes a contribution to Ms. Haley “from this moment forth” will be “permanently barred” from his camp.

To that end, Mr. Bossie’s draft resolution states that “it is imperative for the welfare of all Americans that President Trump defeat President Biden this November and that all efforts and resources from patriots nationwide be exclusively focused on that and Republican victories down the ballot.”

Ally at R.N.C. Wants Party to Aid Trump’s Effort to Push Haley Out

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