Former US president has declared war on fellow Republicans who are trying to distance their party from his influence.
Former US President Donald Trump has asked three Republican organisations to stop using his name and likeness to raise money, a Trump adviser told the Reuters news agency on Saturday, confirming an earlier report by US news outlet Politico.
The adviser said lawyers for Trump on Friday sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Campaign and National Republican Senate Campaign.
The letters demanded the groups stop using Trump’s name and likeness in fundraising emails and on merchandise, the news agency said.
Politico, also citing an unidentified Trump adviser, said the former president was angered that the organisations have supported Republicans who voted to impeach him over the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.
“President Trump remains committed to the Republican Party and electing America First conservatives, but that doesn’t give anyone – friend or foe – permission to use his likeness without explicit approval,” the adviser told Politico.
The Republican Party has been deeply divided in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, which saw Trump supporters overrun the seat of the US legislature and left five people dead.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for “incitement of insurrection” in relation to the riot, citing an incendiary speech the former president gave at a rally ahead of the riot and his false claims the US election was stolen from him. He was later acquitted in the Senate.
Trump has remained at odds with senior Republican legislators, however, including Representative Liz Cheney, who voted in favour of impeachment, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the riot.
In recent weeks, he has also threatened to support the primary challengers of Republicans who had criticised him.
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” Trump said last month, referring to McConnell.
But last weekend, amid the ongoing Republican infighting, the ex-president said he had no plans to form a new party and instead would work to unite the GOP.
“We will be united and strong like never before. We will save and strengthen America,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), his first public address since leaving the White House in January.