Reminder: Trump’s Handpicked RNC Chair Michael Whatley Is an Election-Denying MAGA Loyalist

As Trump’s handpicked RNC Chair Michael Whatley speaks at the Turning Point Action conference in Michigan, DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement:

“When Donald Trump handpicked Michael Whatley to be his new RNC chair, he got everything he wanted: An election-denying MAGA extremist who will put Trump’s commands over everything else — including our democracy. Whatley may not be able to admit Trump lost the last election, but his tenure at the RNC will deliver another embarrassing defeat for Trump in November.”

Donald Trump elevated notorious election denier Michael Whatley to lead the RNC as part of his MAGA takeover. 

New York Times: “Mr. Trump likes Mr. Whatley for one overwhelming reason, according to people who have discussed him with the former president: He is ‘a stop the steal guy,’ as one of the people described him. He endorses Mr. Trump’s false claims about mass voter fraud … Mr. Whatley has baselessly claimed that election security efforts from Republicans in North Carolina stopped Democrats from cheating.”

CNN: “People seeking employment at RNC asked whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen”

New York Times: “Trump’s Man at the R.N.C. Will Face Pressure to Satisfy His Election Lies”

New York Magazine: “Trump Taps Election Deniers Lara Trump, Michael Whatley to Lead RNC”

Associated Press: “In pushing Michael Whatley as the next leader of the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump zeroed in on the North Carolina GOP chairman’s dedication to ‘election integrity,’ baselessly suggesting he would ensure the 2024 race ‘can’t be stolen.”

Washington Post: “Trump repeated his false claims of the 2020 election being stolen and said that Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley was the most important person in the room because he is ‘going to stop the cheating.’

“‘We call it save the vote, guard the vote, stop the steal,’ he said, referring to what the RNC needed to be doing. The RNC has launched a program called ‘Bank Your Vote’ to bring in early votes.”

CNN: “Likely frontrunner for RNC chair parroted Trump’s 2020 election lies”

“Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, shared false claims that Republican observers were prevented from accessing polling locations and repeatedly said Democratic cities in swing states were engaged in ‘massive fraud.’

“His elevation to RNC chair could give Trump a loyalist more willing to devote resources to pursue future voter fraud claims in court should they arise.

“‘Regardless of how these lawsuits come out around the country with the presidential race we do know that there was massive fraud that took place,’ Whatley said in one late November 2020 interview on local North Carolina radio. ‘We know that it took place in places like Milwaukee and Detroit and Philadelphia.’”

Raleigh News & Observer: “Whatley has frequently repeated Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.”

Vice: “North Carolina Republican chair Michael Whatley falsely claimed in February that ‘we certainly saw evidence of voting irregularities, of election counting irregularities in a number of places around the country,’ and invented the claim that the reason Trump won North Carolina was his state party’s vigilance against Democrats’ attempts to cheat.”

Whatley has also embraced Trump’s lies about January 6, saying that neither Trump nor extreme Republicans were responsible for the riot.

NPR: “Does the president bear any responsibility for lying to them for months about the results of the election, including on the day of the riot?” 

Whatley: “Well, I think the president certainly felt and still feels that there was massive voter irregularities across the country.”

Whatley is an anti-abortion extremist who celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade and called North Carolina Republicans’ extreme abortion ban “responsible” and “mainstream.”

Raleigh News & Observer: “Michael Whatley, chairman of the N.C. GOP, said he was proud of activism on the part of the anti-abortion movement” [after Roe v. Wade was overturned]

Whatley on North Carolina’s extreme abortion ban: “Well I think it’s a responsible bill, I think that this is a legislative package that is well within the mainstream of North Carolina political thought, it’s going to be supported, these are positions that are widely supported across the state.”

Whatley has also consistently supported a MAGA platform that could rip away access to IVF – similar to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that Trump made possible.

Popular Information: “Trump’s pick for chair of the Republican Party opposes ‘the destruction of human embryos’”

“Under [Whatley’s] leadership, the North Carolina Republican Party has consistently opposed scientific procedures that involve discarding human embryos, saying such actions violate ‘the sanctity of all human life.’ The most recent version of the North Carolina Republican Party Platform, approved in 2022, states that ‘[u]nborn children have constitutional rights to life and liberty and, the government must respect and protect all innocent human life from conception to natural death.’ Specifically, the party opposes ‘the destruction of human embryos.’ A previous version of the platform under Whatley, approved by the North Carolina Republican Party in 2020, contains identical language. … The position of the North Carolina GOP under Whatley on embryos mirrors a recent decision by the Alabama Supreme Court.”

Whatley is in line with Trump’s efforts to rip away health care – he has railed against the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

Whatley: “That is going to have to be a process that’s going to go through the House, going to go through the Senate because there’s a lot of legislative fixes that you’re going to need in there for Obamacare.”

Whatley after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a budget that lacked Medicaid expansion: “Governor Cooper has chosen to hold NC hostage by vetoing a strong bipartisan budget bill which would help students, teachers and law enforcement in order to try to expand socialized healthcare.”

2019: Whatley criticized Governor Cooper for pushing Medicaid expansion.

Whatley has praised Trump’s failed MAGAnomics agenda that included the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, a disastrous trade deal with China, and a tax scam that rigged the economy for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of America’s middle class.

Whatley: “[Trump] built the strongest economy in U.S. history by enacting historic tax cuts, dramatically cutting red tape, and bringing manufacturing back to America. … He has put America First by standing up to China and negotiating treaties, like the USMCA and Phase 1 China Trade Deal, which treat American farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses fairly.”

Fortune: “Trump to leave office with the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover”

Forbes: “Trump Tax Cuts Helped Billionaires Pay Less Taxes Than The Working Class In 2018”

Bloomberg: “The Offshoring of U.S. Jobs Increased on Trump’s Watch”

CNN: “Trump promised to win the trade war with China. He failed”

Whatley even refused to condemn a state House GOP candidate with ties to a neo-Nazi organization. 

Raleigh News & Observer: “NC GOP chair stays quiet about candidate’s Nazi ties after failed effort at removal from ballot”

“This year, however, the state GOP, led by Chair Michael Whatley, has remained silent on a candidate with ties to a neo-Nazi organization.

“Joseph Gibson III, a Rockingham County podcaster with past felony convictions, is running for a state House seat. … After Gibson was approved to be on the ballot, Whatley — who is now running to be chair of the Republican National Committee with former President Donald Trump’s support — did not publicly condemn his candidacy. 

“The Anti-Defamation League found that Gibson had ties to the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and referred to him as a ‘white supremacist and anti-government extremist.’

“The ADL’s report said Gibson participated in livestream events hosted by the NSM and in one instance messaged the channel saying ‘88,’ a dog whistle used by white supremacists to mean ‘Heil Hitler.’”