Mar 28, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign explains RNC's "stolen election" interview question


Photo; Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump's campaign officials said they asked prospective RNC hires if they believe the 2020 election was stolen in order to determine whether candidates are "curious" and can "think through complex problems."

Why it matters: Nearly four years after losing the 2020 election to President Biden, Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud continue to play a central role in his political identity. The RNC, under Trump, has placed an emphasis on "election integrity" issues.

What they're saying: "If we don't have someone who has thought deeply about these issues as it pertains to the Republican Party, then that would suggest they're not particularly a curious young person," a Trump campaign official said on a press call Thursday.

  • "It's important to understand if your frontline political staff has any firsthand opinion or view of things they observed or didn't observe four years ago, and how that factors into how they operate now," the official said.
  • The goal, the official said, is to bring on political staffers who can "think through complex problems."

Between the lines: The Biden campaign has seized on reports of the RNC job interviews, citing them as evidence that Trump continues to be obsessed with undermining democracy.

The intrigue: The official said that the interview question about the 2020 election does not amount to a "litmus test."

  • A second official then jumped in to add: "There is a litmus test. And that is, 'Do you support President Trump, or not?'"
  • The Washington Post first reported on the unusual way Trump advisers were interviewing RNC job candidates.

Zoom out: The Trump campaign also responded to recent Axios reporting on the RNC scrambling to staff up in battleground states, as well as other recent reporting on Trump's makeover of the RNC.

  • The RNC will be opening "dozens of offices and hiring hundreds of staff over the next month or so," one official said, declining to discuss specific states.
  • "Joe Biden secured his nomination on January 1, but he's underwater in national polls and just now — after three months — staffing up key battleground states," Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita said in a statement.
  • "In contrast, the Trump campaign... has locked up the nomination in one of the fastest timelines in modern day political history," LaCivita added, touting "an operation fueled by hundreds of thousands of small dollar donors and energized supporters."
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