Trump sends GOP cease & desist letter over name, says he’ll go to Alaska to help unseat Murkowski in 2022

Legal counsel for former President Donald Trump have sent cease and desist letters to the top three Republican fundraising organizations instructing them to stop using his name and likeness.

Trump lawyers sent letters to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Politico reported on Saturday. 

The letters come as the former president was reportedly angered that his name was being used by GOP organizations that also fundraise for Republicans who voted to impeach him in the House and Senate. Politico noted that Trump, “who made his fortune in licensing,” is particularly sensitive to the use of his name and brand.

The RNC sent out a pair of emails on Friday asking people to donate so they could add their name to a “thank you” card for Trump.

“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!” says the email. “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.”

The second email was sent a few hours later to “President Trump’s TOP supporters informing supporters they only had 10 hours to get their names added to the card.

Politico Playbook noted that Republican campaign officials noted that it isn’t feasible to exclude Trump’s name from fundraising efforts because he and his policies remain wildly popular with the GOP base. They noted further that if the former president is serious about flipping Congress in two years, he ought to be more lenient with the use of his name.

“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,” one Trump adviser told Politico Playbook.

Last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and home to discuss, among other things, how to retake the House and even the Senate during the 2022 midterms. 

According to Friday’s edition of Politico Playbook, part of those discussions involved McCarthy attempting to talk Trump out of supporting primaries against the 10 House Republicans and seven GOP senators who voted to impeach following the Jan. 6 riot in which they sided with Democrats in blaming him.

McCarthy argued that seeking to primary incumbents would more likely endanger his chances to take back the House, the Playbook reported, but that apparently didn’t phase Trump.

“Not only has Trump refused to commit, he has publicly repeated his vow to primary those incumbents,” Politico Playbook noted.

During his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference a week ago, Trump ticked off the names of Republicans who voted to impeach and vowed to “get rid of them all.” He added that “there’s only one way to contribute to our efforts” — through Saving America PAC.

What’s more, he appears to be making good on the threat. 

In a statement to The Hill, Trump explicitly said he would not endorse Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the only one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict him in January who is up for reelection next year.

Murkowski has often taken positions counter to the president when he was in office as well as her own party, as she did again this week when she announced she would support Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as his Interior secretary.

In his statement, Trump said he would be going to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski.

“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator,” Trump said. 

“Her vote to advance radical left democrat Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior is yet another example of Murkowski not standing up for Alaska,” he added.

Also this week, Trump announced his first endorsements, most of whom are incumbents. 

“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,” the former president said last month.

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Jon Dougherty

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