Attorneys representing former President Donald Trump on Friday issued cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for “using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise,” according to a Politico report.
The three fundraising committees are the largest and most prominent fundraising vehicles for GOP members of Congress and emerging candidates that have been endorsed by the party apparatus.
Trump is reportedly upset that his name is being used without his permission by organizations that are backing Republicans who supported his impeachment, according to Politico.
Just yesterday, the RNC sent out emails requesting that supporters make donations for a card to “thank” 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!” the email stated. “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.”
Another email was sent later in the day reminding supporters of a deadline for signing their names on the card.
According to Politico, GOP insiders said it was “impossible not to use Trump’s name,” as he boasts immense popularity with the party’s base and with the low-propensity voters that fueled unexpected Republican wins in many Congressional races across the country in 2020.
The insiders reportedly said that if Trump wants to see Republicans win back control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, then he should not be so restrictive with his name.
However, an advisor to Trump disagrees with such a sentiment.
“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 advisor told Politico.
In the wake of the Capitol riot, Donald Trump’s political career seemed over.
The attack showed that Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat in the November 2020 election was not just a cynical ploy to maintain his hold over supporters, but a threat to the integrity of US democracy itself, some experts warned. Administration officials told Reuters that Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat would permanently stain his political brand.
But less than two months later, Trump is back, unrepentant, and again pushing his myth that the election was stolen from him by Democrats, disloyal Republicans, and their allies in the judiciary and media.
“They didn’t have the guts or the courage to make the right decision,” he said of the nation’s highest court.
Trump’s speech was more than just rhetorical showmanship, too, with the former president using his election-fraud lie to push for reform of voting laws, including canceling early voting and tougher voting rules. No evidence has emerged to substantiate Trump’s claim that current US voting rules are exposed to widespread fraud.
Trump calls out Republican critics
After the Capitol riot there was a move by some Republican leaders to distance the party from Trump, and put it on a new track. But their challenge to Trump’s dominance fizzled out as his popularity among grassroots GOP supporters held firm.
And in his Sunday speech, Trump called out his most adamant Republican critics by name. They include Rep. Liz Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and Sen. Mitt Romney.
“Get rid of them all,” he said of the lawmakers.
Their failure to successfully challenge Trump means he is set to remain the most powerful figure in the GOP, and his election-fraud lie one of its central myths.
A straw poll of CPAC attendees on Sunday found that 95% want the Republican Party to advance Trump’s policies and agenda. (It is worth noting, though, that only 68% wanted Trump to be their 2024 candidate.)
The stolen-election myth could harm the GOP
Trump loyalists in state GOP parties are already citing Trump’s stolen-election myth in their bids to tighten voting rules, The New York Times reported, with low voter turnout long seen as an advantage to the GOP in key districts.
The national Republican Party last week followed suit, setting up a Commission on Election Integrity to tighten voter laws.
Trump’s lie about the stolen election doesn’t just have potential implications in the battle over election laws, but for US national security. An assessment by US intelligence agencies after the Capitol riot, seen by The Washington Post, found that Trump’s myth would likely continue to be a key driver in far-right violence.
But there’s a serious potential downside for the GOP.
It’s a dynamic that played out in January’s Georgia Senate runoffs, where Republican strategists believe that Trump’s attacks on the state’s election officials for refusing to pursue his voter-fraud claims drove down GOP turnout.
So the longer the Republican Party helps sustain Trump’s stolen-election myth, the more it could erode Republicans’ faith in the integrity of US democracy and damage the party’s chances of success at the polls.
During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, former President Donald Trump encouraged states to “punish” big tech if they “silence conservative voices.”
Trump spoke on the final day of CPAC in Orlando, Florida. It was his first public speech since leaving the White House last month.
“All of the election integrity measures in the world will mean nothing if we don’t have free speech,” Trump said. “If republicans can be censored for speaking the truth and calling out corruption, we will not have democracy and we will only have left-wing tyranny.”
Trump has frequently accused tech companies of censorship over his removal from both Facebook and Twitter for violating their policies.
“The time has come to break up big tech monopolies and restore fair competition,” Trump said, adding that section 230 – a piece of internet legislation passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 – must be repealed.
Section 230 gives websites the ability to regulate the content that appears on their platforms. It also protects sites from being legally liable for content shared by users.
“If the federal government refuses to act then every state in the union where we have the votes – which is a lot of them – big tech giants like Twitter, Google, and Facebook should be punished with major sanctions whenever they silence conservative voices,” Trump said.
Trump cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who announced new proposals earlier this month aimed at social media companies. One proposal aims to block the suspension of accounts of political candidates and would impose fines for each day said account is blocked.
It’s unclear if the state would have the authority to enforce such laws, the Associated Press reported.
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday firmly shut down the rumors of him possibly creating a new political party outside of the GOP.
In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump had discussed launching a new party, the “Patriot Party,” with several close aides and trusted friends.
However, the former president threw cold water on such talk at the outset of his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida.
“We’re not starting new parties,” Trump said. “You know, they kept saying, ‘He’s going to start a brand new party.’ That was fake news. Fake News. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party. Let’s divide our vote so that we can never win.”
He emphasized: “No, we’re not interested in that. We have the Republican Party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party.”
In a CPAC straw poll of the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Trump came in first place, garnering 55% of the vote. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second place with 21% of the vote.
However, only 68% of the straw poll respondents indicated that they wanted Trump to run again in 2024, while 95% of respondents want the party to support the former president’s policies.
While alluding to a possible 2024 presidential campaign, Trump still refused to acknowledge his election loss, which he spent months trying to overturn through various election pressure campaigns against GOP officials across the country.
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday continued to repeat false claim that the election was stolen over a month after leaving the White House.
During Trump’s headlining appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, Trump immediately lit into President Joe Biden, calling his tenure “the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history.”
While alluding to a possible 2024 presidential campaign, the former president still refused to acknowledge his election loss, which he spent months trying to overturn through various election pressure campaigns against GOP officials across the country.
“As you know they just lost the White House,” Trump said of the Democrats. “I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”
Trump said that under Biden, the US has “gone from America first to America last,” a nod to the enduring conservative appeal of the former president’s go-it-alone worldview.
Biden has reversed a slew of Trump administration policies since last month, rejoining the Paris climate accord, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project, and halting the withdrawal from the World Health Organization.
“He’s wearing a business suit because he’s a businessman. The red tie represents the Republican party, the red white and blue shorts represent the fact that he’s a patriot,” Zegan told the New York Post.
Zegan said he hopes to sell it for more than $1 million or submit it to a Trump presidential library in the future.
And Trump merch for sale everywhere.
Trump, despite leaving office more than a month ago with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, was a focal point of the GOP conference.
Attendees came dressed in Trump gear, and speakers alluded to or explicitly referred to his hold on the Republican party.
“Let me tell you right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday to a crowd.
Trump, for his part, has embraced the idea that he maintains a strong influence in the party. He’s floated several possibilities to remain relevant in politics, such as a potential 2024 presidential run and the formation of a political action committee. His support from top GOP lawmakers indicates that Trump, while out of office, still maintains deep influence in GOP politics.
Gov. Kristi Noem defended coronavirus handling in South Dakota.
On Saturday, she slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, while defending her own policies that go against guidelines from health officials.
“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” Noem said, receiving applause from the CPAC crowd.
For months, Noem has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate in South Dakota, even as the state earned a reputation as one of the 10 most dangerous when its COVID test positivity rate neared 60% in November.
Convicted felon Stone danced outside the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.
He arrived at the event without a ticket and began to dance on the sidewalk next to Forgiato Blow, a rapper who’s been described as “Trump-loving” by hip-hop outlets.
Forgiato Blow was at the time rapping about Trump winning the election, which did not happen.
The two were standing by and dancing near a truck featuring a giant image of Trump in the style of “Rambo” with an assault weapon.
And he signed autographs.
Stone also posed for pics with onlookers and Trump supporters.
Conference organizers did not let him to the event since he didn’t have a ticket.
Trump in December pardoned Stone, who was found guilty of seven felonies last year in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mask-less attendees made up the crowd.
Though many attendees wore masks, many others did not.
And when a CPAC organizer urged the audience to wear a mask, she was met with resistance.
“We are in a private facility and we want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property, so please, everyone when you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” said CPAC organizer Carly Conley.
“I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said after the insurrection.
“We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” Cruz said.
His remarks about her come just days after she raised millions for Texans who were suffering after a storm knocked out power.
Former President Trump began his closing remarks by asking a cheering crowd, “Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”
Trump, who was expected to speak on the unity of the GOP, said “For the next four years, the brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media and their toxic cancel culture — something new to our ears … and I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side.”
“We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, ‘he’s going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.”
“Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party. Let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that.”
He spent most of his remarks railing against the Biden administration’s immigration policies, executive orders, and COVID-19 response, particularly around vaccines and school reopenings.
“This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now,” Trump said, setting off a chant of “USA, USA, USA.”
“Actually, as you know, they just lost the white house,” he added, maintaining the false claim that he won in 2020. “But who knows … I might even decide to beat them for a third time.”
“We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company,” a Hyatt spokesperson told Fox Business in response to hosting CPAC in its Hyatt Regency hotel in Orlando, Florida.
“We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours.”
The Hyatt spokesperson said the chain is responsible for creating an inclusive environment for all guests.
People initially took to Twitter over the weekend to call out the American hotel chain for hosting the conservative event, which is featuring speeches from Republican lawmakers, former White House officials, and former President Donald Trump. Many people took issue with the design of the event’s stage, which was reminiscent of symbol used by the Nazi party.
Gosar had told Congress that he couldn’t attend the vote on the $1.9 stimulus bill proposed by the Biden administration under rules allowing lawmakers to cast votes remotely for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gosar sought to justify attending AFPAC in a statement to the Washington Post Saturday, claiming he was trying to reach out to younger Republicans.
“We thought about it, and we thought: There is a group of young people that are becoming part of the election process and becoming a bigger force,” Gosar told the Post. “So why not take that energy and listen to what they’ve got to say?”
The following day he attended CPAC, reported Arizona Central, where he sought to distance himself from white nationalism, at a panel discussion he spoke at.
“I denounce, when we talk about white racism, that’s not appropriate,” Gosar said. “I believe in a strong immigration system, but a legal immigration system.”
A spokesperson for Gosar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At the AFPAC event, Fuentes said that “white people are done being bullied,” and praised the Capitol riot, where five people lost their lives, as “awesome,” describing it as “light-hearted mischief,” reported The Daily Beast.
He also mocked Rep. Madison Cawthorne, of North Carolina, who is partially paralyzed, for being in a wheelchair, according to the report.
The former president will be making his first public appearance since leaving the White House last month.
He is expected to use the speech to talk about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative moment and criticize President Joe Biden’s efforts to undo his immigration policies, Reuters reported last week.
But the big question remains whether Trump will use his time on stage to announce his run for president in the 2024 election.
As of Friday morning, those odds were 4 to 5, according to betting aggregators US-Bookies.com. This suggests that 55.6% implied the probability that Trump would put his name on the list.
“The betting markets seem confident that Trump will declare his candidacy during his speech, but not so much that he’ll be doing so as a member of a party that isn’t the GOP,” said a US-Bookies spokesperson according to Fortune. “The odds of Trump running in 2024 and not representing the Republican party are 4 to 1, which equates to just a 20% chance.”
More than a dozen CPAC attendees interviewed by the Wall Street Journal have already said they would back Trump if he were to run again in 2024.
A Politico-Morning Consult poll published three days after Trump’s acquittal in his second impeachment trial found that 54% of Republican voters would back Trump in the primary.
“I want President Trump to announce that he’s going to stop President Biden,” Trump supporter Veronica Sullivan told the Wall Street Journal this weekend. “I want Trump to say that Biden is not the president … and he’s going to be running again.”
Earlier this week, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said that Trump likely would win the GOP presidential nomination if he decided to run again in 2024.
“He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party,” Romney said during a New York Times virtual event on Tuesday, according to Fortune. “I don’t know if he’s planning to run in 2024 or not, but if he does, I’m pretty sure he would win the nomination.”
Romney has been a vocal opponent of the former president is the only Republican who voted to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials.
Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Biden, who beat him by more than 7 million ballots in the popular vote.
Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was spotted dancing along to a Trump-inspired rap at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday.
In a video posted to Twitter by Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura, Stone can be seen playing backup dancer to local Florida rapper Forgiato Blow, known for his support of Former President Donald Trump.
Wearing his trademark black glasses, French cuffs, and suspenders, Stone, 68, bops along to the hip-hop song, which describes the January 6 rioters as “patriots pulling up, knocking at the Capitol.”
“Trump 2021, yeah, he had it in the bag. I just got a call from General Flynn. Yeah, he told me the facts, ” Blow sings in the video. “Democrats, you gonna tell me how you feelin’ about that? Who won? Trump won. Who Won? Trump Won! Watermark the baddest, 45 the chosen one.”
“Fed did a sweep. Patriots be pulling up, knocking on the Capitol,” the lyrics continued.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department and FBI said they would launch an investigation into far-right figures – including Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – and their role in the riot.
The investigation does not mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Washington Post, which first reported the story.
When asked about the investigation, Stone told reporters at CPAC: “Any honest investigation proves that there was no evidence whatsoever that I was either involved in or knew about this stupid, senseless, counterproductive, illegal assault on the Capitol,” according to CNN.
“Folks who did invade the Capitols should be prosecuted,” he added.
Stone also told Fox News that he would back Trump if the former president launches another campaign for 2024.
Trump is expected to speak at the event on Sunday, in what will be his first public appearance since leaving the White House last month.