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Trump presses GOP to stop using name for fundraising

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE is pressing Republican Party organs to stop using his name and likeness for fundraising and merchandise sales. 

Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill that lawyers for Trump sent cease-and-desist letters Friday to the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

The three groups are the largest fundraising bodies for the Republican Party.

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Trump has long been known to tout his marketing expertise from his long career in real estate and was protective even while in office of how lawmakers and party organs used his name to benefit themselves and other candidates.

“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,” a Trump adviser told Politico, which was the first to report on the letters.

The move came the same day the RNC sent two emails to supporters looking for donations in the form of a thank-you card to Trump.

“President Trump will ALWAYS stand up for the American People, and I just thought of the perfect way for you to show that you support him!” one email reads. “As one of President Trump’s MOST LOYAL supporters, I think that YOU, deserve the great honor of adding your name to the Official Trump ‘Thank You’ Card.”

None of the three groups hit with the cease-and-desist letters immediately provided statements on the record to The Hill when reached for comment.

The letter from Trump’s attorneys appears to be part of the former president’s efforts to solidify his standing as a top kingmaker in the GOP. Trump has already forecasted that he will be heavily involved in the 2022 midterms while he mulls making a third presidential bid in 2024, and his endorsement is expected to be highly sought after by most Republicans.

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The former president has so far most backed incumbents in their reelection bids, though he has warned sitting lawmakers he is ready to throw his weight behind primary challengers running against those he deems insufficiently loyal. 

“Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership,” Trump said in a statement last month.

So far, he’s endorsed former White House aide Max Miller, who is challenging Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote Ohio GOP censures Republican lawmaker over Trump MORE (R-Ohio).

Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. 

Still, House Republicans for the most part have been more vocal in their embrace of the former president than their Senate counterparts since Trump left office.