Trump Campaign Demands 5% Cut of GOP Fundraising Using His Name and Image

Trump demands 5% cut of GOP fundraising using his name, highlighting his influence over the party as he faces criminal indictments and lags in 2024 fundraising.

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Geeta Pillai
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Trump Campaign Demands 5% Cut of GOP Fundraising Using His Name and Image

Trump Campaign Demands 5% Cut of GOP Fundraising Using His Name and Image

Donald Trump's campaign is demanding that Republican candidates and committees share at least 5% of the fundraising haul from messages that use the former president's name, image, and likeness. In an April 15 letter signed by Trump's senior campaign managers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, the campaign stated that any amount higher than 5% "will be seen favorably" by Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The letter also outlined ways for vendors to avoid using language that improperly implies a candidate or committee is speaking on behalf of Trump. The campaign said the intent is to deter candidates and committees from misleadingly using Trump's name and image to attract donors. "This move by Trump has been described as turning the Republican Party into an 'extortion racket', as he seeks to bleed cash from down-ballot GOP campaigns to make up for his own campaign's fundraising deficit compared to President Joe Biden," according to one of the summaries.

Why this matters: Trump's demand for a cut of GOP fundraising using his name and likeness highlights his ongoing influence over the Republican Party, even as he faces multiple criminal indictments. This move could strain the finances of down-ballot Republican candidates and impact their chances in the upcoming elections.

Trump's campaign has lagged behind President Biden in fundraising for the 2024 election, and the request for a cut of candidates' fundraising is seen as an effort to close that gap. Trump brought in roughly $66 million in March compared to Biden's $90 million. The Trump campaign and the RNC, which merged last month, entered April with $93.1 million in cash on hand.

The letter warns that vendors whose clients ignore these guidelines will face suspension of business relationships with the Trump National Committee JFC. It also suggests that Republican candidates will have no choice but to comply with Trump's demands, as they have "gambled on this guy again" and "the house always wins."

Trump has closely guarded the use of his brand and name, previously sending cease-and-desist letters to the RNC and the party's congressional fundraising arms to stop using his name and image in their fundraising appeals. The former president is also facing multiple criminal indictments, which have strained the groups that financially support him, with his leadership PAC spending $5.6 million on legal bills in February.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump demands 5% cut of GOP fundraising using his name, image, and likeness.
  • Trump's move aims to address his campaign's fundraising deficit vs. Biden's.
  • This could strain finances of down-ballot GOP candidates and impact their chances.
  • Trump has closely guarded use of his brand, sending cease-and-desist letters to GOP.
  • Trump faces multiple criminal indictments, straining groups that financially support him.