Ronald Reagan Foundation Asks RNC to Stop Using Reagan’s Likeness for a Trump Fundraiser

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute asked the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cease fundraising for Trump’s reelection campaign with a commemorative coin printed with the likeness of the former President paired with images of President Donald Trump.

Melissa Giller, the foundation’s chief marketing officer, told TIME that the RNC had printed the coin without receiving permission to use the 40th President’s likeness.

“The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute owns the name, image and likeness of President Reagan and [the RNC] used his image for the coin without our consent,” Giller said. “We called the RNC and asked them to cease and desist the use of President Reagan on the coin and they agreed.”

The Washington Post, which originally reported on the incident, reported that the pair of gold-colored coins, one printed with President Trump and the other with Reagan, were mounted beneath an image of then-President Reagan shaking hands with Trump in the 1980s. Funds raised with the coin were directed to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which benefits the Trump’s reelection campaign and the RNC, the Post reported.

The Post said that the coins were promoted in an email with the subject line “Ronald Reagan and Yours Truly,” which listed the sender as “Donald J. Trump.” The email advertised the coins as “limited edition” for donors who provided $45 or more.

Michael Ahrens, the RNC communications director, confirmed that it will stop sending the email in a statement to TIME.

“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” Ahrens said. “Even though we believe our use of the image was appropriate, we will stop emailing this fundraising solicitation as a courtesy.”

The Reagan Library and Foundation has held events for Trump’s associates in the past. Last year, the library hosted a lecture and book signing with the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

After the Post’s article was published, President Trump responded on Sunday to a tweet by political analyst Larry Sabato, who pointed out that the Washington Post publisher and CEO, Frederick J. Ryan Jr., is also the chairman of the Reagan Foundation’s board. The paper had also acknowledge the connection in the article. Trump tweeted that that the Post is “running the Reagan Foundation.”

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