Republican National Committee staff blindsided by layoffs


(CNN)A round of layoffs at the Republican National Committee Monday blindsided staff, three sources familiar with what happened told CNN, as President Donald Trump continues his legal push to contest Joe Biden’s victory.

The party is in the middle of a fundraising blitz as the national party chair, Ronna McDaniel, is publicly pushing Trump’s baseless allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Departments within the RNC were instructed Monday to inform staffers who were being laid off, though the scale of the layoffs vary among the departments. Most stemmed from those assigned to the RNC-Trump Victory program, the joint fundraising effort between the RNC and Trump campaign that served as the ground and field program for the Trump campaign.

A Republican source told CNN a “large portion of staff” were laid off. The exact number is unclear.

    One source told CNN most of these jobs were only intended to last through the election, but the round of layoffs underscores how the Republican apparatus is hardly moving full-steam ahead to challenge the outcome of the results as the President wishes.

    Steve Guest, a spokesman for the RNC, on Tuesday dismissed the downsizing as typical post-election moves but did confirm CNN’s reporting.

    “We will have all the resources we need for litigation and recounts, as well as the critical runoffs in Georgia to hold the Senate. The RNC will pursue every instance of voting irregularity or fraud to the fullest extent,” the spokesman said.

      In the Florida recount in 2000, the Republican National Committee dedicated large swaths of staff to Palm Beach and Florida’s 66 other counties. A similar effort is not being taken in 2020, though some RNC staffers will be sent to Georgia ahead of expected twin Senate runoffs in Georgia.

      Though the President refuses to accept his election loss, one RNC source put it bluntly: “Layoffs are the logical next step considering the outcome.”

      CNN’s Mike Warren and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.