by Frank Holmes, reporter
If there’s one thing President Donald Trump has become known for, it’s targeting Republican incumbents. Now, he’s doing it again, and his latest move has people talking.
The 45th president of the United States is threatening to sue a Republican for using his name and likeness in his commercials…because Trump endorsed his opponent.
The problem is Masters’ opponent, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich (pronounced “burr-RAWN-o-vich”), keeps using the president in ads even though Trump gave his “complete and total endorsement” to GOP Senate hopeful Blake Masters.
“Blake is Strong on Border Security… he will Cut Taxes and Regulations, be Tough on Crime, and Support our Military and our Vets,” Trump said on June 2. “Blake will fight for our totally under-siege Second Amendment, and WIN!” The president called Masters “an incredible person, a very smart guy, and an America First fighter.”
But Brnovich sent out a fundraiser with a picture of Trump’s signature… something that the president says might confuse voters into thinking he backs Brnovich.
Trump’s legal team stepped in and sent a “cease and desist” letter to the AG. “Your use of President Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness is likely to deceive individuals into believing President Trump supports, endorses, or otherwise promotes your candidacy for U.S. Senate in Arizona — he does not,” the attorney wrote to the attorney general.
Trump endorsed Masters on June 2 — and his backing catapulted Masters into the lead in this race. Polls show Masters surging almost 10 points, leapfrogging two competitors, and going from third place in April to first place in late June.
Masters has also raked in endorsements from figures well-known among Trump’s followers.
Ric Grenell, Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence, and Kash Patel, who worked in the Defense Department, said they want Masters in the U.S. Senate next year, toppling Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly.
“We know what America First looks like, and what kind of person is needed in Washington, DC to fight against the swamp,” Grenell and Patel said in a joint statement.
COMPLETE AND TOTAL ENDORSEMENT pic.twitter.com/T02CPKYRRp
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) June 27, 2022
Trump not only decided not to endorse Brnovich, but he warned that Brnovich “will only let you down.”
The bad blood goes back a long way between those two.
Trump controversial claims that the Democratic Party stole the 2020 presidential election in a handful of states include Arizona, where official results say Biden won by 0.3 percent of the vote.
Brnovich dismissed the fraud claims within just a few days and certified Biden as the winner.
“Mark Brnovich is such a disappointment to me,” Trump said. Now he’s backing Masters.
“Arizona is a State where the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen, and a very thorough audit proved it,” Trump said. “Blake knows that the ‘Crime of the Century’ took place, he will expose it and also, never let it happen again.”
And he’s threatening to sue Brnovich, just like he told the Republican National Committee not to use his name or likeness in its fundraisers last March. The party fat cats ignored him, saying he’s a “public figure.”
Trump is obviously an influential figure. His endorsement put J.D. Vance in the driver’s seat in Ohio and made Dr. Mehmet Oz the Senate candidate in Pennsylvania. Arizona voters will decide whether his streak holds up when they go to the polls on August 2.
Masters holds a lead over Brnovich according to most polls—but Brnovich has a secret ally, too: Joe Biden.
The president may have just raised Brnovich’s profile in the contentious primary, because his Department of Justice has sued the state over its anti-voter fraud law, which bans foreigners and illegal aliens from voting.
Arizona’s voting integrity law says anyone who wants to vote must show “satisfactory evidence of citizenship”: They have to prove they’re Americans before they vote in U.S. elections. That was too much for Biden, whose DOJ filed the lawsuit as soon as the government opened up after the Independence Day holiday.
“I guess in addition to giving (illegal immigrants) flights, hotel rooms, they now want to give them the right to vote, even though they’re not citizens,” Brnovich told the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” on Wednesday night. “The neo-Marxist vision is to have no borders. … In Joe Biden’s twisted version of America, anyone can enter the country, enter the voting booth, and even a women’s restroom without any consequences.”
Brnovich told guest host Jason Chaffetz he would fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
That will put wind in his sails—but if he’s not careful, he’ll end up in court himself.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”