Trump tells House GOP to stop fundraising off of his name

Donald Trump
FILE – Former President Donald Trump waves after announcing he is running for president for the third time at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. At this point during the last presidential election in 2020, more than 15 Democrats had jumped into their party’s open presidential race. But this year, the open Republican field for 2024 still officially remains small, and dominated by Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Andrew Harnik/AP

Trump tells House GOP to stop fundraising off of his name

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The Trump campaign is demanding the House Republican campaign arm and 10 of the GOP’s most prominent digital consulting firms stop using former President Donald Trump’s image and likeness to fundraise.

The demand came through a letter sent by Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, Trump’s top two campaign officials, on Thursday to the National Republican Campaign Committee and 10 GOP consulting firms. The letter says that many candidates using the Trump name do not have official endorsements, meaning that the money they raise was not approved by the former president’s campaign.

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“The purpose of this outreach is to advise you that President Trump does not consent to the use of his name, image and likeness in authorized fundraising appeals for candidates he has not endorsed and committees he may or may not support,” the letter read.

“President Trump has built the most powerful, successful brand in the history of American politics — at great personal expense and toll to him and his family,” it continued. “When you deceive the president’s donors and usurp his brand for your own profit, you drain him of the financial resources his campaign needs to defeat Joe Biden and Make America Great Again.”

In addition to the NRCC, the Trump organization sent the memo to Tag Strategies, Red Spark Strategy, Prosper Group, IMGE, Go Big Media, Push Digital, Convergence Media, Coldspark, Axiom Strategies, and Targeted Victory.

Several of these firms represent Trump’s 2024 GOP primary opponents. Axiom works with a super PAC aligned with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Coldspark is helping former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Targeted Victory has a contract with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

An NRCC spokesman did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment. None of the 10 firms would comment to Politico.

Thursday’s letter does not pose a serious legal threat to its recipients. Instead, it pushes the GOP’s main campaign consultants to weigh the value of Trump’s endorsement versus the former president’s ability to raise funds for their clients.

“Going forward, in determining which candidates he will support, the President and his team will consider whether the candidate is paying a digital fundraising vendor that routinely fundraises off of his name, image and likeness without his authorization,” the letter reads. “It is highly unlikely that President Trump will endorse, sign letters for, appear at events with or post on social media about candidates who use such vendors, or invite such vendors’ clients to join him on stage or otherwise recognize them at his rallies and other events.”

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This is not the first time Trump has demanded GOP candidates not use his name and likeness.

His lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the NRCC in March 2021 insisting that all parties refrain from using his image in fundraising emails and merchandise. The RNC refused the request.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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