Reagan Foundation asks Trump campaign, RNC to stop using image on coins, but there’s no bad blood

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The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is reportedly beefing with President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee, though as usual, not all is what it appears to be.

On Saturday a report emerged that the foundation had demanded that both the president’s 2020 campaign and the RNC stop using former President Ronald Reagan’s name and image.

The report’s publication spurred outrage, with conservatives accusing the foundation of “RINO” behavior. Conversely, liberals celebrated Reagan joining the so-called “Resistance.”

Look:

But it’s not like that at all. In fact, the foundation isn’t anti-Trump by any means and “just recently hosted the Trump family to raise money for its organization and has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before,” RNC communications director Michael Ahrens said in a statement to The Washington Post.

So what’s the issue then? The way specifically in which they’d been using Reagan’s likeness.

Via the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising operation that reportedly benefits both the president’s campaign and the RNC, the groups had been fundraising by hawking gold-colored coins that contained the images of both Trump and Reagan together.

According to Post, on July 19th a fundraising email featuring the president as the ostensible “sender” was sent out. In the email, the president offered viewers the “limited edition” coins in exchange for a $45 minimum donation.

“Friend, I just saw our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets and WOW, these coins are beautiful – I took one look and immediately knew that I wanted YOU to have a set. These aren’t any ordinary coins. They symbolize an important time in our Nation,” the email reportedly read.

“This year, in addition to being re-elected as YOUR President, it also marks the 40th anniversary of our Nation’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, we already sold out of the first batch we had in stock. But I liked these coins so much that I asked my team to rush order another batch for my TOP SUPPORTERS ONLY.”

“I’ve authorized a very limited production of these iconic coins, which is why I’m ONLY offering them to our top supporters, like YOU. This offer is NOT available to the general public, so please, do NOT share this email with anyone.”

View a screenshot of the email below:

When the foundation learned of the email, it quietly reached out to the RNC.

“It was simply handled with a phone call mid-last week to the RNC, and they agreed to stop,” foundation chief marketing officer Melissa Giller told the Post.

RNC communications director Ahrens said that while the decision was “surprising,” it wasn’t a big deal.

“Given that the Reagan Foundation just recently hosted the Trump family to raise money for its organization and has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before, their objection came as a surprise. Even though we believe our use of the image was appropriate, we will stop emailing this fundraising solicitation as a courtesy,” he said.

However, the foundation is still reportedly investigating the matter, and lawyers could potentially be involved.

“We still have a lot of additional work,” Giller said to the Post, adding that the foundation is trying to determine how many received the fundraising email and how many coin sets were sold.

Part of the problem may be that the following Web page still remained accessible to the public as of Sunday morning:


(Screenshot)

Other than for this seemingly minor tiff, there seems to be no real issues between the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the president’s 2020 campaign.

Similarly, Reagan’s eldest son, Michael Reagan, is an avid Trump supporter who most certainly intends to vote for him over presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden come November.

He’s also a staunch Trump defender who’s come out swinging against the unfair attacks the president has faced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“No matter what Trump does or doesn’t do to fight COVID-19, resuscitate the economy or subdue the rioting and violence in Democrat-wrecked cities, he is attacked. For example, every day the Monday afternoon quarterbacks in the liberal media fault him for not responding fast enough to the threat of COVID-19,” he wrote just this past Friday.

“But if he had ordered a shutdown of the entire country in January when medical experts like Dr. Fauci were assuring us the coronavirus was not a serious threat to Americans, Trump would have been declared a power-mad dictator by Nancy Pelosi and impeached (again). And what, by the way, would the brilliant Pelosi-Bernie Democrats have done differently?”

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Vivek Saxena

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