Trump says Republican donations should come directly to him as battle for funds with GOP steps up

Former president’s lawyers have demanded GOP stop using his name and image on fundraising media

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 09 March 2021 17:10
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Donald Trump issued a statement telling his supporters to send money directly to his PAC rather than donating to the Republican Party.

Mr Trump issued a statement on Tuesday directing his supporters to send their money to the "Save America PAC" rather than give it to "RINOS" – a derisive shorthand for "Republicans in name only."

"No more money for RINOS. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base – they will never lead us to Greatness," Mr Trump said in the statement.

The statement directs potential donors to Mr Trump's personal website.

"We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!" the statement concludes.

The statement appears to be the latest development in a squabble between Mr Trump and the party.

On 5 March, Mr Trump's lawyers sent the Republican National Committee a letter instructing it to "immediately cease and desist the unauthorised use of President Donald Jr Trump's name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion and/or issue speech."

The RNC pushed back on the the directive, saying it had "every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech" and that it would "continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals".

The spat outlines a lingering question following Mr Trump's departure from the White House; who is in charge of the Republican Party?

Mr Trump has alluded to – but not announced – a 2024 presidential run.

Since then, Trump loyalists in the party have made it clear they see the former president as the party's best path forward. His critics – like Rep. Liz Cheney – have said they hope to see the party move past Trumpism.

It's not immediately clear how contentious Mr Trump plans to be with the party; he was the star speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year and still has the support of many Republican lawmakers, including bomb-thrower loyalists like Reps. Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The former president told RNC chair Ronna McDaniel that he planned to fundraise alongside the GOP, and is still scheduled to speak at the party's spring donor event in Palm Beach, Florida.

While Mr Trump has said he plans to assist the Republicans in taking back the House in 2022, it is also clear he intends to seek revenge on the GOP members he feels betrayed him by voting to impeach him. That revenge will likely come in the form of fundraising and endorsing MAGA-styled primary challengers to the Republicans he feels slighted him.

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