Trump campaign warns GOP groups to stop using image and likeness in fundraising
Former President Trump’s campaign warned several GOP groups on Thursday to stop using his likeness in their fundraising messages or risk losing his potential endorsement.
In a letter obtained by Politico, two Trump campaign officials notified the groups that 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.”
Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, the two Trump campaign officials named on the letter, claimed that the fundraising messages make it appear as though the funds will go toward the former president’s campaign.
“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,” Wiles and LaCivita said. “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.”
The letter warned it is “highly unlikely” the former president would endorse, sign letters for or appear at events with candidates who employ vendors that use Trump’s likeness without his approval.
“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 Trump campaign officials added.
The letter was reportedly sent to House Republicans’ campaign arm — the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) — as well as 10 consulting firms, including ColdSpark, Axiom Strategies and Targeted Victory, according to Politico.
ColdSpark is working with presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s Stand for America PAC, but the firm has done recent work for several other campaigns, including for multiple House members.
Jeff Roe, the CEO of Axiom Strategies, recently joined the Never Back Down PAC, which is urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to run for president.
And Targeted Victory has worked with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is weighing a 2024 presidential bid, along with GOP congressional leaders.
The Hill has reached out to Trump’s campaign and the groups for comment on the letter sent this week.
Trump previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to the NRCC, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee in March 2021 for using his likeness. However, the RNC brushed off the demand that they stop.
– Amee LaTour contributed.
For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.