Prior to taking over as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel reportedly was asked by President Donald Trump to drop her maiden name from public use.
Her maiden name? Romney.
McDaniel is the niece of Senator-elect Mitt Romney of Utah, and neither the president nor the senator is a big fan of the other.
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.
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.”
McDaniel responded in defense of Trump on Wednesday after Romney penned an op-ed blasting the president as having no morals.