The Reagan Foundation has asked the Donald Trump campaign to stop using President Ronald Reagan’s likeness in fundraising appeals. Trump and the Republican National Committee both reacted to the news with hostility.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
“President Reagan was a proud Republican and supporter of a party that has carried on his fight for conservative principles of economic opportunity and limited government,” RNC communications director Michael Ahrens told CNN in a statement. “His likeness is used by thousands of Republicans each year who gather around the country for ‘Reagan Dinners,’ and his library regularly hosts debates for our presidential candidates. Given that the Reagan Foundation just recently hosted the Trump family to raise money for its organization and has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before, their objection came as a surprise.”
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel wrote in a tweet, “The Republican Party has used President Reagan’s image for decades. But since the Reagan Foundation is suddenly opposed to it, are they going to return the money @DonaldJTrumpJr and @kimguilfoyle raised for them just 8 months ago?”
Trump used his response to point out that Fred Ryan, a publisher at the Washington Post, works on the board of trustees for the Reagan Foundation: “So the Washington Post is running the Reagan Foundation,” Trump joked on Twitter Sunday. “We will win anyway.”
The incident was incited when the Trump campaign began offering new “Coin Sets” featuring both presidents.