The request was made in response to fundraising emails sent out by the Trump campaign.
In a July 19 message, for a financial contribution of $45, the commander-in-chief’s reelection team offered a set of coins with images of Trump and Reagan and a 1987 photograph of the two men.
“I just saw our new Trump-Reagan Commemorative Coin Sets and WOW, these coins are beautiful — I took one look and immediately knew that I wanted YOU to have a set,” the email read.
Proceeds from the sales apparently went to the Make America Great Again Committee, which supports both the RNC and the Trump campaign.
In a statement, Reagan Foundation Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Giller explained that the late president’s name and likeness were used without the foundation’s consent.
“We own the likeness of President Reagan and they used his image for the coin without our consent. We called the RNC and asked them to cease and desist the use of Pres Reagan on the coin and they agreed,” Giller said.
The foundation — which was granted the right to use Reagan’s name in 1990 — is reportedly investigating the matter in order to determine how many sets were sold.
In response to the allegations, RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens said that “thousands” of Republicans celebrate the former commander-in-chief every year.
Ahrens said that the claims came as a “surprise,” given that the foundation regularly hosts GOP debates.
“Even though we believe our use of the image was appropriate, we will stop emailing this fundraising solicitation as a courtesy,” Ahrens said.
The foundation, he noted, recently hosted Trump and his family.
Some members of the Reagan family have expressed opposition to Trump. In a 2019 op-ed penned for The Washington Post, the former leader’s daughter, Patti Davis, called on the Republican Party to stop using her father to justify their support for Trump.
In the column, Davis criticized Republican politicians for not standing up to Trump as he “fawned over” Russian leader Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. She also blasted the GOP for supporting the administration’s immigration policies.
The commander-in-chief and his allies have previously faced similar issues.
The Trump campaign has been criticized for using music without permission, with some artists threatening legal action. Earlier this month, legendary songwriter Neil Young slammed Trump for playing his music at an event.