Now Reading
EXTORTION? Trump demands cash from any GOP candidate who wants to use his name

EXTORTION? Trump demands cash from any GOP candidate who wants to use his name

If you want to win a Republican election in the Trump era, you probably need to convince your voters that you’re backing the former president. If you want to do that, it’s going to cost you — and not just your reputation and dignity.

Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (but I repeat myself) are now expecting candidates who use Trump’s image in their campaign materials to pay up, they’ve announced.

They’re demanding a tax of sorts: 5% of any funds raised using his image or name. That could be a pain for candidates who have their endorsements pinned to the top of their social feeds. It also might be awkward for voters who are supporting Republican candidates but pulling back from Trump himself.

Politico obtained a copy of the message sent out, which reads, in part:

“Beginning tomorrow, we ask that all candidates and committees who choose to use President Trump’s name, image, and likeness split a minimum of 5% of all fundraising solicitations to Trump National Committee JFC…Any split that is higher than 5% will be seen favorably by the RNC and President Trump’s campaign and is routinely reported to the highest levels of leadership within both organizations.”

The letter goes on to give specific examples, such as “Any mention of the President’s family without their consent or the consent of the campaign,” and using lines like “President Trump needs you.”

There has been speculation for some time that Trump has been, perhaps less formally or openly, charging other Republicans for his endorsement. In 2022, Forbes looked at campaign disclosures and found that at least $1.4 million had been poured into Trump’s businesses by candidates he had endorsed.

Of those, a majority said they’d paid up before they received their endorsements. And this is just campaign spending — if a candidate, for instance, decided to spend personal funds on a Mar-a-Lago membership, or a pair of Trump shoes, or shares of TruthSocial stock, it wouldn’t necessarily become part of the public record unless the individual chose to report it.

Trump has told the world many times, particularly during and since his trial for business fraud, that his brand — his name and, his identity — is the most valuable thing he owns. It looks like he’s found another way to cash in on it.

For clarifications, comments, & typos, email: 

Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here:

© 2022 Occupy Democrats. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top