Trump Demands 5% Cut From Republicans Using His Name and Likeliness

By: Alex Trent | Published: Apr 18, 2024

Trump is on a roll with recent money-generating plans. He has gotten into the business of selling bibles, sneakers, NFTs, and now to fund his presidential campaign, he’s demanding a cut whenever down-ballot candidates use his name or image for fundraising.

In new demands to Republicans by his campaign, Trump would receive a minimum 5 percent cut for any fundraising efforts that will go directly to fund his presidential race.

Trump Campaign Letter

According to Politico, a letter was sent to Republican vendors this week demanding that they immediately start paying up to use Trump’s image.

Former President Donald Trump giving a thumbs-up at a podium while speaking into a microphone, wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and red tie, with the presidential seal in front

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Beginning tomorrow, we ask that all candidates and committees who choose to use PresidenTrump’s name, image, and likeness split a minimum of 5% of all fundraising solicitations to Trump National Committee JFC. This includes but is not limited to sending to the house file, prospecting vendors, and advertising,” the letter said.

More is Always Better

The letter was also sure to spell out that any extra split above the demanded five percent is appreciated and that it will be reported to Republican leadership.

A close-up portrait of President Donald Trump in 2016.

Source: Library of Congress/Unsplash

“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,” said the letter.

Avoiding Impersonation

The Trump campaign also sought to crack down on an observed marketing strategy of “speaking on behalf of Trump” when making appeals to donors.

A man wears a plastic Donald Trump mask while pointing at the camera. Behind him are metal barricades, a police car, and the White House.

Source: Darren Halstead

“Language and tactics we ask for candidates and committees to avoid while using President Trump’s name, image, and likeness are: Speaking on behalf of President Trump. Only President Trump and authorized personnel on his campaign are allowed to speak on his behalf or any other views he might personally hold,” read the letter.

Donation Tactics

The Trump campaign expressed opposition in the letter to certain common donation tactics utilized by fundraisers. These included using “reply to donate” and “one-click donation” features.

Donald Trump is seen raising his right hand while speaking at a podium with the Conservative Political Action Conference logo visible

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Fundraisers now cannot create memberships or clubs not authorized by the Trump campaign, and any fundraising efforts cannot question the reader’s loyalty to Donald Trump.

Avoiding Scammers

Officials from the Trump campaign have said that the real purpose behind the five percent request is not to make a bunch of money but to discourage what they call “scammers” using Trump’s brand and likeness.

Overhead view of a person's hands wearing fingerless gloves as they type on a laptop keyboard

Source: Towfiqu barbhuiya/Unsplash

The campaign wants to stop those who would, without his permission, use Trump’s name to take money away from people who might have otherwise donated to Trump.


Threat to Vendors

The Trump campaign was sure to outline the consequences for people who do not respect the guidelines they have laid out.

Donald Trump is captured in mid-speech, pointing directly at the camera with his right hand

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Any vendor whose clients ignore the guidelines mentioned above will be held responsible for their clients’ actions,” reads the letter. “Repeated violations will result in the suspension of business relationships between the vendor and Trump National Committee JFC.”


One Upsell

The letter outlines the process for a “Trump Seal of Approval”, which those who receive will be allowed one upsell personally signed by Donald Trump.

Side profile of former President Donald Trump in a suit and tie with a blue background. He appears to be looking off to the side

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Finally, all committees that have been given the Trump Seal of Approval will be allowed to have one upsell that is personally signed by President Trump. We’ve seen upsells signed by President Trump have the highest conversion rates and dollars per view. All we ask for is a 1% split on these upsells,” the letter said.


Campaign Finance Struggles

Donald Trump is having a difficult time this election cycle raising money compared to 2020 and the progress his current opponent Joe Biden has made.

A split image showing President Joe Biden on the left and former President Donald Trump on the right.

The White House, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

A Financial Times report released this week found that Trump has fallen behind Biden by more than $75 million. He also has 270,000 fewer unique donors than he did during his 2020 presidential run.


Biden Expanding His Lead

In Q1 of 2024, Biden nearly doubled Trump’s ability to fundraise for his campaign. Biden raised 166 million dollars in Q1 while Trump only managed to raise $90 million.

Pres. Joe Biden wears aviator sunglasses and a blue suit while sitting down at an official presidential desk and singing a document

Source: Wikipedia Commons

This builds on a previous fundraising lead Biden has maintained for a while. In 2023, Biden raised $202 million for his campaign while Trump only managed to generate $130 million.


Trump Gearing Up

Trump allies are confident that his fundraising efforts will bear more fruit as the election draws closer, though they also believe Trump doesn’t need as much money to win as Biden.

Donald Trump, with light-complexioned skin and blonde hair, is captured mid-speech, gesticulating with his right hand raised. He is wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and a bright blue tie

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“I do think he can make it up,” said Texas business Roy Bailey, who fundraised for Trump in 2020 and will again in 2024. “I don’t think he needs to, to win the election . . . He’ll have the last seven months of the year to put the pedal to the metal.”


Court Costs

One thing weighing Trump and his campaign down is the excessive court costs he is dealing with amid criminal and civil cases that have been brought against him.

Focus on a wooden judge's gavel resting on its sound block on a polished desk. In the softly blurred background, a lawyer in a suit sits behind a laptop

Source: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels

Trump recently had to pay a court $175 million for a bond after a judgment in a civil fraud case over defamatory statements he allegedly made against E. Jean Carroll.