For most, it was made perfectly clear at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference that former President Donald Trump will clearly be the leading figure in the background of the Republican party leading into the 2022 elections.
According to the Washington Examiner, however, Trump and his legal team are apparently unhappy with the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee using his name to raise money and, therefore, sent the organizations cease-and-desist letters to make clear he wants them to stop.
“Explicit approval” not granted
There’s been no sign of any kind of fallout between Trump and the three organizations, which are powerhouse fundraising groups that bolster Republican candidates in a variety of election campaigns across the country, including when Trump made his runs in 2016 and 2020.
One of the former president’s advisers made clear that Trump still fully supports all three arms of the Republican fundraising movement, but that it doesn’t mean they have free reign to use Trump’s name and likeness to keep building their respective campaign war chests.
“President Trump remains committed to the Republican Party and electing America First conservatives, but that doesn’t give anyone — friend or foe — permission to use his likeness without explicit approval,” an adviser reportedly told Politico.
One of the logical lines of speculation as to why Trump would not want his name to be associated with the organizations’ fundraising attempts is that they’ll undoubtedly be raising money for the former president’s newest political enemies, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Some have remarked that even though the 45th president vowed to use his influence for the 2022 midterms, kicking off that effort with a round of cease-and-desist letters isn’t a great start.
Only one way to donate
The former president made clear during the 2021 CPAC speech that he was not interested in splitting off a third political party, despite rumors leading up to the event that it was somewhat of a possibility.
“We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, ‘He’s gonna start a brand new party.’ We have the Republican Party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party,” Trump told the CPAC audience.
He capped off his speech by letting those in attendance and the millions watching at home that there’s only one legitimate way to donate to the efforts he’ll launch to take various Republican candidates across the victory line next year.
“There’s only one way to contribute to our efforts to elect ‘America First’ Republican conservatives and, in turn, to make America great again, and that’s through Save America PAC and donaldjtrump.com,” Trump said.
Only time will tell how the three organizations react to not being able to use Trump’s name and likeness to generate the funds needed for next year and beyond, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to predict that Trump’s PAC will likely be the new fundraising leader on the block, given his base of tens of millions of loyal supporters.