RNC member: ‘Totally misleading’ to spend campaign funds on Trump legal fees

A member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) said it would be “totally misleading” for the committee to spend campaign funds on any candidate’s legal fees, including former President Trump.

Henry Barbour, an RNC member from Mississippi, floated two draft resolutions over the weekend that would prevent the committee from paying Trump’s legal fees and ensure it stays neutral in the GOP primary. He said in a Monday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “Inside Politics” that the RNC should use its funding to help win elections, not pay off anyone’s outside fees.

“Well, I certainly am willing to take a stand that may not be popular with some right now. The RNC has one job, Dana, and that’s to win elections. And we should spend our finite resources on political operations and actually winning elections, and paying any candidate’s legal fees — or frankly, any other outside fees or expenses — is not the RNC’s job,” Barbour said.

Barbour, a longtime member of the RNC, said it would be “misleading” to ask voters to contribute to a campaign fund and then for the RNC to spend it on legal bills.

“When the RNC sends out solicitation, it says, ‘Hey, do you want to take the White House back and get the country back on track?’ Donors send in their $28 or whatever it is … it would be totally misleading to take that money and then go and spend it with some big fat law firm, you know, legal fees for stuff that has nothing to do with winning the election,” Barbour said.

He also said the Trump campaign is “jumping ahead of the game” in saying that the GOP primary is over when only four states have voted. Barbour’s remark came when asked about a statement given to CNN over the weekend by Trump senior adviser Chris LaCivita, who said it is the RNC’s “sole responsibility to defeat Joe Biden and win back the White House.”

“And a lot of the Trump campaign is very talented. So I appreciate that. But they need to respect the rules of the RNC that number one, we have to be neutral, and number two, we should spend our resources on winning elections and not on legal fees for candidates of any type,” Barbour said.

Trump remains the likely GOP nominee after easily clinching a win in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday over challenger Nikki Haley. He recently named his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, and North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley as his picks to serve as co-chairs of the committee.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel announced Monday she would be stepping down from her role March 8 after previously signaling she would do so after the South Carolina primary. With Lara Trump slated to helm the RNC, questions remain over whether the committee will help foot Trump’s mounting legal fees.

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