Former President Donald Trump is entangled in a fight to block money from going to RINO candidates who have proved themselves to be phonies in recent years.
Trump is fighting three of the most integral fundraising and electoral organizations in Republican politics as he aims to ensure Republican donors’ money goes to true Republicans – more specifically – pro-Trump candidates.
The former president over the weekend sent “cease-and-desist” letters to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) demanding that they stop using his name and likeness to raise money, Politico first reported.
The RNC was the first to publicly respond on Monday. RNC Chief Counsel J. Justin Riemer said in a letter to the counsel for Trump’s “Save America PAC” that it will not stop using Trump in its fundraising pitches.
“Like President Trump, the NRC remains focused on electing Republican candidates and advancing conservative policies,” the letter said.
“The RNC, of course, has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.”
Just hours later, Trump responded by sending an email to his supporters telling them to ensure that their political donations go to the political action committee (PAC) directly controlled by him – rather than the organizations that may support Republicans who are critical of the former president.
“No more money for RINOS. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base—they will never lead us to Greatness,” Trump said, telling donors to give their money to his Save America PAC. “We will bring it all back stronger than ever before.”
This was not the first time Trump has told his followers that they should starve traditional Republican organizations of money. During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he said “there’s only one way to contribute to our efforts to elect America First Republican conservatives and in turn to Make America Great Again, and that’s through” his Save America PAC.
Trump’s attacks on the groups, including the NRSC, come as NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott continues to insist that there is no civil war within the Republican Party.
Scott is in an especially awkward position of being committed to defending incumbent senators in primaries through his job leading the NRSC even as Trump has promised to support primary challenges against Republican incumbents.
Trump most recently said he plans to campaign for an opponent to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was one of the seven GOP senators to vote to convict him at his impeachment trial last month.
“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski,” Trump said in a statement. “She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be – in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
Murkowski is not the only Republican Trump has gone after in recent months – he has also directed his ire at Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Donald Trump Jr., late last month in an interview with Fox News, slammed the idea of “blindly” supporting Republican incumbents and said there are “plenty” of Republican senators against who he and the former president would be willing to support primary challenges.