RNC chair: 'I don't even know' if it's legal for RNC to pay Trump's legal fees

Story highlights

  • "First of all, I don't even know if that's legal, if we would even be allowed to do that," Romney McDaniel said.
  • "I'm always going to look to support the President. But we've gotta just make sure that anything we do is legal and then we'd have to talk to people who donated to us and make sure they'd want to do it that way," she added.

(CNN)Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said Friday that she doesn't know if the RNC can legally cover the legal costs for President Donald Trump's administration in the ongoing Russia investigations.

Romney McDaniel was asked on Washington radio station WMAL's "Mornings on the Mall" about a Washington Post report that said "some in Trump's orbit are pushing the Republican National Committee to bear the costs" for legal fees Trump and other officials amass in retaining attorneys amid the inquiries into whether the campaign colluded with the Russian government during last year's election.
The story also said that the RNC was researching whether it was legal to cover the fees but that some within the committee thought it would be more appropriate to create a different legal defense fund instead of using an already existing RNC fund.
    "First of all, I don't even know if that's legal, if we would even be allowed to do that," Romney McDaniel said in Friday's radio interview. "So there's just nothing that I can comment on on that front right now. So that would have to go through the lawyers first before it would come to us."
    Asked if the RNC would pay those costs if it determined it was legal for the committee to do so, Romney McDaniel replied that she also had to take into account the preferences of the committee's donors.
    "I'm always going to look to support the President. But we've gotta just make sure that anything we do is legal and then we'd have to talk to people who donated to us and make sure they'd want to do it that way," she said. "There's other ways to support the President. There's a legal defense fund that you could start. There's lots of other ways. But we of course support the President."