The Republican National Committee is insisting it has a right to use former President Donald Trump’s name and likeness for fundraising, following a cease and desist letter from the former commander in chief.
Last Friday, Trump sent a letter to the RNC and other Republican organizations telling them to “immediately cease and desist the unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech.”
RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer replied in a letter to Team Trump that the GOP “has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.”
He also informed RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel that he “approves of the RNC’s current use of his name in fundraising and other materials, including for our upcoming donor retreat event at Palm Beach at which we look forward to him participating.”
The former president is reportedly irked that the funds sent to the national organization could be used to support Republican candidates who do not advocate for his “America First” agenda and voted for his impeachment in the House and Senate.
Trump has vowed to undermine those Republicans and has backed challengers to GOP members who voted against him.
Trump released a statement through his post-presidential office Monday evening urging donors to contribute to his PAC, instead of giving to “RINOS” via the RNC.
“No more money for RINOS. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base — they will never lead us to Greatness. Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com,” Trump said in the statement, using the acronym for “Republicans in Name Only.”
“We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!” it continued.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month in Florida, Trump ticked off a list of Republicans he will target and called for voters to reject RINOS in the 2022 midterms.
“Now more than ever is the time for tough, strong and energetic Republican leaders who have spines of steel,” Trump said.
“Top establishment Republicans in Washington should be spending their energy on opposing [President] Biden, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and the Democrats. I’ve said to some of them, I said, ‘You know, during the Obama years and now during Biden, if you spent the same energy on attacking them, you’d actually be successful — as you do on attacking me in many cases’.”
Trump called out by name the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him and the seven GOP senators who voted to convict him.