President Trump reportedly asked Ronna Romney McDaniel to stop using her maiden name, “Romney,” publicly before she took over as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
Sources told the Washington Post the president made the request and then, in a “lighthearted way,” told McDaniel she could make whatever decision she wanted. But McDaniel, the niece of Mitt Romney and granddaughter of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, dropped the name.
The president was reportedly happy McDaniel stopped using her maiden name publicly, a senior administration official and adviser told the Washington Post. Advisers said Trump told people the name “Romney” often led to boos during events, which prompted the president’s request to the incoming Republican National Committee chairwoman.
Cassie Smedile, a spokeswoman for the RNC, told the Washington Post the chairwoman used her full name on invitations to a recent fundraiser, and said there is no ban within the RNC on using “Romney."
“This is silly,” she said.
Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, said Trump “has full confidence in the chairwoman who has led the Republican Party toward record-breaking fundraising.”
According to the Washington Post, the anecdote demonstrates the president’s complex relationship with Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who slammed Trump in a speech last year, calling him a “con man” and a “fake.”
Trump has also taken jabs at Romney, calling him a “stone cold loser” and “failed candidate.”
Romney is reportedly considering a run for the Senate should Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, retire.
Last week, during a speech in Utah, the president encouraged Hatch to run again.
“We hope you continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a very long time to come,” Trump said.