Donald Trump has said he isn’t trying to start his own political party, but he is clearly claiming the Republican Party as his own. This latest saga began on Monday when Trump sent a cease and desist letter demanding the Republican National Committee stop using his name or likeness in fundraising emails. The RNC brushed the letter aside. Politico quoted RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer as saying the committee, “has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.” This clearly didn’t sit well with the former president and soon after he drew a line in the sand with his own fundraising email. Fox News reported:
Mere hours later, Trump sent an email to his supporters telling them to ensure that their political donations go to the political action committee (PAC) directly controlled by him instead of organizations that may support Republicans who are critical of the former president.
So, in effect, Trump is starting his own party. It’s still called the GOP but that’s really just an old name. This is the party of Trump and anyone who has unkind thoughts for the ex-president will not be welcome.
Trump and the RNC combined forces to raise more than $300 million in the last election cycle, but that was before some in Congress voted to impeach the ex-president. Now Trump wants to make sure those officials, or any who don’t kiss the ring, receive no money.
But then late on Monday, the Washington Post reported the RNC had decided to move part of its spring donor retreat to Mar-a-Lago, where Trump will reap a financial windfall.
The weekend retreat in early April for the party’s most influential donors will be at a luxury hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., as in past years. But the RNC has decided to move the Saturday evening portion of the schedule to the former president’s private club to accommodate Trump and guests who would like to visit the site, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the plans.
The national party will sign a contract with Mar-a-Lago to host the event and will be paying Trump’s club for the use of the facilities and the meal, according to a Republican involved in the planning, who declined to share the size of the fee.
*This piece contains opinion and analysis