At the Republican National Committee's winter meeting yesterday, party members, "one after another, said in interviews that the president did not bear any blame for the violence at the Capitol and indicated that they wanted him to continue to play a leading role in the party," the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin reports from Amelia Island, Fla. (subscription).
- The fealty to Trump was made plain with the unanimous reelection of Ronna McDaniel, Trump's handpicked chair, and the reappointment of her co-chair, Tommy Hicks, first appointed because of his friendship with Don Jr.
Why it matters: "Trump is the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over the loss of the White House, the House and the Senate in a single term and will be the first since Andrew Johnson to boycott his successor's inauguration. That hasn't yet fazed the Republican rank and file," JMart writes.
🥊 A dose of reality came from Nikki Haley — Trump's former U.N. ambassador, and a promising 2024 presidential candidate — who told the meeting the president "was badly wrong with his words" in stoking the mob, AP reported.
- "His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history," Haley said, calling the aftermath "deeply disappointing" because of the effect it'll have on the Trump legacy.