Trump responds to Reagan Foundation request to stop using Ronald’s image

By Emily Jacobs

July 27, 2020 | 9:13am | Updated

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President Trump is hitting back at former President Ronald Reagan’s presidential foundation for asking his campaign and the Republican National Committee to stop using his likeness for fundraising.

In a tweet posted Sunday afternoon, the commander-in-chief called out Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the Reagan Foundation board and publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, after the foundation told numerous news outlets it had asked the RNC to stop using the former president’s name and image to raise money.

“So the Washington Post is running the Reagan Foundation, and RINO Paul Ryan is on the Board of Fox, which has been terrible. We will win anyway, even with the phony @FoxNews suppression polls (which have been seriously wrong for 5 years)!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

On Saturday, Reagan Foundation chief marketing officer Melissa Giller told a Washington Post columnist that the foundation called the RNC last week to make the request.

The request was made to Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising effort of the campaign and the party, and came in response to an email offering two commemorative coins, one with President Trump’s face and one with President Reagan’s face engraved, to anyone who donates at least $45.

The email, obtained by the newspaper, was “signed” by President Trump.

Reached for comment by The Post, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said of the snub, “It should be no surprise that the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post wants to interfere with President Trump’s re-election campaign. As Republicans, we all honor Ronald Reagan’s contribution to this country and our party.”

A Reagan Foundation spokesperson did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. A Republican National Committee representative could not immediately be reached either.

RNC communications director Michael Ahrens was surprised by the foundation’s objection when reached by The Post, seeing as they had “just recently hosted the Trump family to raise money for its organization and has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before.”

While maintaining that their use of Reagan for the commemorative coins was “appropriate,” Ahrens said that they would cease “emailing this fundraising solicitation as a courtesy.”

“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. 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,” he continued.

The snub is not the first time the 45th president was snubbed by a group or individual tied to the 40th president.

In June 2018, Reagan’s daughter Patty Davis said that she believed her father would have been “appalled” by the Trump presidency.

In a letter written on the occasion of the anniversary her father’s June 5, 2004 death, Davis wrote that Reagan would have been “pretty horrified at where we’ve come to.”

“He would be appalled and heartbroken,” she wrote, “at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances.”

Davis did not mention Trump by name.