GOP in disarray
Former President Donald Trump's lawyers sent the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups cease-and-desist letters on Friday, ordering them to stop using his name and image in their fundraising materials. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee ignored the letter, and the RNC formally rejected Trump's request on Monday afternoon.
The RNC "has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech," chief counsel Justin Riemer told Trump attorney Alex Cannon in Monday's letter, "and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals." On Monday night, Trump's Save America PAC sent an email to supporters urging them to steer their donations to his PAC and give "no more money for RINOs."
"The dust-up represents a rare break between the Trump team and the RNC," which, led by Trump loyalist Ronna McDaniel, worked almost seamlessly with Trump's campaign during the 2020 election, Politico notes. "But as he plots out his plans to exact revenge on his perceived Republican enemies in the 2022 midterm elections, the former president has begun to assert greater control over how his name is used to generate fundraising dollars."
Trump, publicly mulling another presidential run in 2024, "has expressed annoyance at McDaniel's continued public comments that she will be neutral in the race," The Washington Post reports. And anxious "about how Trump plans to use his influence in the 2022 midterms," the RNC "is moving part of its spring donor retreat next month to Mar-a-Lago, from a nearby hotel. for a dinner speech" headlined by Trump.
The RNC will pay Trump's club for the use of his facilities and the meal, the Post adds. And it is not alone. Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Lynda Blanchard is renting Mar-a-Lago for a $2,900-a-head campaign fundraiser on Saturday, Politico reports, and that doesn't even get her Trump's endorsement in the race.