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Trump targets Reagan Foundation after it asks campaign, RNC to stop using former president's likeness

Trump campaign app sparks privacy concerns
Trump campaign app sparks privacy concerns 06:54

Washington — President Trump lashed out at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute and Fox News on Sunday after the presidential foundation requested his campaign and the Republican National Committee stop using former President Ronald Reagan's likeness to fundraise.

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

The chairman of the Reagan Foundation's board of trustees, Frederick Ryan, also serves as publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, and Paul Ryan, the former speaker of the House, is a board member of the Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News. On Friday, Fox News released a poll showing Mr. Trump trailing Biden in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Trump also appeared to be responding to news the Reagan Foundation called the Republican National Committee last week after a fundraising email from the joint fundraising committee of the Trump campaign and RNC offered commemorative coin sets to donors, which featured one coin engraved with Reagan's image and a second with Mr. Trump's image, according to the Washington Post. The Reagan Foundation asked the RNC to stop sales of the coins.

RNC communications director Michael Ahrens said in a statement Reagan's "likeness is used by thousands of Republicans each year."

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

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Twitter the GOP "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 @DonaldTrumpJr and @kimguilfoyle raised for them just 8 months ago?" she said. "By the way, I am sure it is just a coincidence that the head of the Reagan Foundation, Fred Ryan, is also the Publisher & CEO of The Washington Post, which wrote the hit piece on us for daring to use an image of one of our Party's most prominent Presidents."

McDaniel called the "weaponization" of the Reagan Foundation to attack Mr. Trump and the GOP "disgraceful."

The Reagan Foundation has hosted members of the Trump family and other Trump administration officials before. In November, Donald Trump Jr. appeared at the California-based Reagan Presidential Library for a lecture on his new book, and in 2017, Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser at the White House, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed tax reform at the presidential library.

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