IN yet another extraordinary development in President Donald Trump’s increasingly troubled re-election campaign, he has been told he can no longer use former President Ronald Reagan’s likeness in fundraising.

The request to “cease and desist” – which was immediately accepted – came from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute which formally asked the Trump campaign managers and the Republican

National Committee (RNC) to stop using Reagan’s name and image to raise money. Trump has frequently cited Reagan, one of the most popular of recent Republican presidents, in his speeches, so the ban is a massive snub, not least because the email asking for people to buy the coins was signed by the current president with the introductory line, “Ronald Reagan and Yours Truly”.

Reagan is often credited with being the originator of Trump’s top slogan. It was he who coined the phrase “Let’s make America great again”. To be prevented from effectively quoting Reagan again – every time he does the likeness ban will be raised – shows how many Republicans do not wish Trump to win a second term – and it’s a gift to his Democrat opponent senator Joe Biden.

“We own the likeness of President Reagan and they used his image for a coin without our consent,” Melissa Giller, chief marketing officer for the Reagan Foundation, told the Washington-based website The Hill. “We called the RNC and asked them to cease and desist the use of President Reagan on the coin, and they agreed.”

The ban came after the Trump Make America Great Again Committee – jointly run by the Trump campaign organisation and the RNC – promoted commemorative coins engraved with 40th President Reagan’s image on one side and the other side with that of 50th President Donald Trump, the coins to be given to anyone who donated $45 or more for Trump’s re-election.

RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens told Forbes magazine that the request came as a surprise because the foundation “has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before”.

The Foundation has the sole right to decide where and when Reagan’s likeness can be deployed and the fact that they have said Trump cannot use it for fund-raising purposes is being seen in the USA as ringing non-endorsement of Trump’s campaign for another four years in the White House where Reagan did serve two terms and achieved, among other things, a rapprochement with the USSR and the introduction of Reaganomics.

It was also revealed yesterday that Trump is really struggling in the polls, but that didn’t stop him playing golf.The White House released an official photo of Trump playing a round at one of his courses with former National Football League star Brett Favre, associated with Green Bay Packers, provoking huge protests at this event during the coronavirus pandemic.

The National and other newspapers are still waiting on confirmation from former Scottish Secretary David Mundell that Trump asked him to help get Trump Turnberry restored to the Open Championship rota, an allegation that has provoked fury in the USA where presidents are forced by law to maintain a strict separation between their office as president and private business links.

In the USA yesterday, more than 150 medical experts and scientists signed a letter asking Trump and his government leaders to lockdown the country and “start again” to contain the pandemic which appears to be hitting a second wave of infections and consequent deaths.

The latest polls show that in key states, Biden leads by 51% to 46% in Florida; by 51% to 45% in Arizona; and by 52% to 40% in Michigan.