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RNC Is Demanding New Job Applicants Say Whether 2020 Election Was “Stolen”

“Donald Trump is demanding fealty to his extreme, anti-democratic beliefs,” a Biden campaign spokesperson said.

Lara Trump appears during CPAC at Gaylord Resort and Convention Center on February 22, 2024, in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reportedly asking applicants to demonstrate their loyalty to former President Donald Trump by answering a question on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

Specifically, applicants are being asked whether they believe that the outcome of that election — which Trump lost to President Joe Biden — was affected by election fraud, which the former president has falsely alleged since Biden was named the winner.

Neither Trump nor his supporters have provided any evidence to back up their claims. Numerous fact-checks have disproven their suppositions, and dozens of court cases by Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the election have similarly dismissed such claims.

Despite the lack of evidence on his part, Trump has continued to wrongly insist to this day that he was the true winner of the 2020 election, going so far as to suggest at one point that the Constitution should be “terminated” in order to put him back into the White House.

Trump is now the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2024 race. As such, he can reshape the RNC to his liking, which he did by ousting former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and appointing to her former position two new co-chairs: Michael Whatley, a Trump loyalist from North Carolina, and Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law.

After becoming co-chairs, the two fired every RNC staffer, telling those who were laid off that they could re-apply for their jobs if they still wanted to work for the organization. However, according to reporting from The Washington Post, as part of the interview process new applicants must meet with senior Trump campaign advisers, who are questioning them on how far their loyalty goes for the former president.

Specifically, potential employees are being asked, “Was the 2020 election stolen?” according to one anonymous person who was interviewed and spoke to The Post about what was happening.

An RNC staffer speaking to the publication indicated that the question served a clear purpose: to show loyalty to Trump.

“If you say the election wasn’t stolen, do you really think you’re going to get hired?” that former staffer said.

CNN has confirmed The Post’s reporting that would-be RNC staffers are being asked the question as a form of loyalty test.

GOP strategist Doug Heye indicated to The Post that it’s not unusual to ask potential employees at the RNC questions to ensure their worldviews are similar to those espoused by the presidential candidates — but asking about debunked conspiracy theories goes beyond what is typical, he added.

“The problem with Trumpism is that despite bringing in very smart and very capable people, if you want to play Trump’s game, you have to back him up on everything he says,” Heye said. “Claims about the election being stolen is kind of the last frontier of that.”

Loyalty oaths have been a problematic and recurring feature of American politics, but rarely, if ever, do they require an oath to a singular figure. Such oaths are commonly employed by fascist or authoritarian regimes.

The question being asked of potential RNC staffers is not technically a loyalty oath — however, it has the same outcome as one in that, if a person answers that they do not believe the election was stolen, it demonstrates (at least to loyalists of Trump) disloyalty to the GOP presidential candidate.

The Biden campaign responded to news about the question being asked by describing it as anti-democratic.

“In Donald Trump’s America, elections are only fair when he wins and nothing is off the table to stay in power — including violence like on January 6th and being a dictator on day one,” said Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa. “And, now, Donald Trump is demanding fealty to his extreme, anti-democratic beliefs to be part of his Republican Party.”

“The new loyalty test in the application process shouldn’t be surprising now that Lara Trump is at the helm of the RNC,” wrote The New Republic’s Tori Otten. “The former personal trainer, model, and cake decorator is running the RNC, all because she has sworn absolute loyalty to her father-in-law.”

Mark Elias, Democracy Docket founder and election lawyer, also responded to news of the RNC’s loyalty test.

“This is insane even for a Trumpian RNC. It means that everyone in the place — every researcher, lawyer, fundraiser, receptionist — is an avowed election denier,” Elias said on X. “How does the Committee ever recover from this? Maybe the answer is it shouldn’t.”

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