On Friday, lawyers for former President Donald Trump sent cease and desist letters to the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to stop them from using his name and likeness without his permission.
According to The Hill, the move came after the RNC sent two fundraising emails last week which asked recipients to donate in the name of gratitude for the former president.
“President Trump will ALWAYS stand up for the American People, and I just thought of the perfect way for you to show that you support him!” one email reportedly read. “As one of President Trump’s MOST LOYAL supporters, I think that YOU, deserve the great honor of adding your name to the Official Trump ‘Thank You’ Card.”
Trump is protecting his image
Trump is presumably limiting the use of his name so that he can control his endorsements for the congressional races in 2022, and for any possible run or endorsement for the White House in 2024.
“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 to the former president told Politico.
Besides supporting a number of conservative incumbents, Trump has vowed to primary some Republicans who opposed or attacked him, or that he feels have done so. That’s especially true for the handful of House Republicans who voted in favor of launching a second round of impeachment charges against him following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership,” Trump said in February, according to The Hill.
Most recently, the former president has announced support for former aide Max Miller as a primary opponent to Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, The Hill noted. He also endorsed Sen. Tim Scott (R-NC) for his upcoming re-election bid, according to Fox News.
Trump’s a savvy marketer
Trump has always been at the top of the marketing game, and he has made a fortune on licensing his own name and that of his family and other related businesses.
It’s not terribly surprising that he doesn’t want his name to be used to support Republicans who don’t otherwise support him, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who had a very public dust-up with the former president amid the latest impeachment debacle.
His latest move is yet another signal that Trump plans to be closely involved with the Republican Party for some time to come.
Most polls show that the 45th president remains the overwhelming favorite to become the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.