WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee says they have a right to use former President Donald Trump's name and image in their communications, after receiving a cease-and-desist letter asking them to stop.
The RNC says it "has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech."
The cease-and-desist letter from Trump's lawyers was sent to the RNC and other GOP campaign committees on March 5 asking them to stop using his name and likeness in their fundraising materials.
RNC's lawyer said the organization would continue to refer to public figures, and that Trump had "reaffirmed" that he approves of the RNC's use of his name to raise money during a conversation with RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel over the weekend.
In fact, the RNC moved forward with another message containing Trump's name on Sunday.
Late Monday, after word of the RNC's response to the cease-and-desist letter, Trump issued a statement encouraging Republican donors to give to his Save America PAC instead of organizations or people he considers RINOs, Republicans in name only.
“Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com,” the statement continued. “We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!”
The former president has also increased criticism in recent weeks of Republicans who he feels have crossed him, including a scathing public release calling out Republican strategist Karl Rove, promising to travel to Alaska to campaign against Senator Lisa Murkowski, and harsh words for Senator Mitch McConnell and his ability to lead the party.