Harmeet Dhillon, former California Republican Party official who ran a failed campaign to chair the Republican National Committee (RNC) this year, called the Draft Tucker PAC a “scam” in multiple tweets on Monday. Carlson hired Dhillon last week to defend him in a gender discrimination lawsuit from former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg, according to Bloomberg Law.
In a letter obtained by Mediaite, Dhillon told the group that Carlson “unequivocally disavows” the effort and “will not run for President in 2024 under any circumstances, and therefore your misrepresentations are damaging to Mr. Carlson and defrauding his supporters.”
“If you do not immediately cease and desist your efforts to solicit money to ‘draft’ Mr. Carlson, we will use every legal means at our disposal to vindicate his rights and protect his supporters from these misrepresentations,” she added.
Despite Carlson himself having already said he has no desire to seek the presidency, the PAC released a video ad on Thursday that insisted he is “ready to lead” and “stand up” to President Joe Biden in the next presidential election. Dhillon first responded to the video in a tweet on Saturday, making it clear that the group was “unauthorized” and did not have permission to use Carlson’s likeness.
“As Tucker’s attorney, I can unequivocally state that this PAC is unauthorized, that the people running it didn’t get his permission to use his name/likeness, and that it would be fruitless to contribute to such a PAC,” Dhillon tweeted.
Dhillon ramped up the rhetoric on Monday, warning donors that it was “SCAM PAC season” and they were “getting ripped off.” She also took shots at conservative network Newsmax for apparently airing the PAC’s ad.
“Everyone who donates to this frivolous and transparently self-serving attempt by total strangers to collect money and donor data using Tucker’s name and likeness, is getting ripped off and will probably get their name on a list for endless political donation pitches on behalf of some other candidate,” tweeted Dhillon.
“It is dishonest to raise money using someone else’s name without their consent, period,” she continued. “I understand Newsmax is running an ad based on this fraud. I hope they stop making a quick buck from this scam too. They owe their viewers better than this.”
It’s that season — SCAM PAC season!
Everyone who donates to this frivolous and transparently self-serving attempt by total strangers to collect money and donor data using Tucker’s name and likeness, is getting ripped off and will probably get their name on a list for endless… https://t.co/kbOKjf0aHM
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) May 22, 2023
A short time later, Dhillon said that she was “pleased to report that Newsmax is pulling the ads ASAP, at least for now.” The PAC’s Twitter account was apparently taken offline at around the same time, as well an affiliated website.
The website described Carlson as “the last GREAT American,” while urging visitors to “sign up and donate below if you are ready for a Tucker Carlson Presidency.” Links to donate amounts from $10 to $250 were redirected to the RNC-endorsed WinRed fundraising website.
The video, preserved on Twitter by former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski and others, praises Carlson for being “articulate” and able to combat “leftists in both parties.” It also compares Carlson to deceased conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and lauds his ability to mock “woke nonsense.”
“Tucker Carlson is ready to lead,” the ad states. “No one in America is more articulate and pins down leftists in both parties better than Tucker. Tucker always fought for us, like Rush Limbaugh did. Tucker Carlson is witty, sharp and mocks woke nonsense.”
“Tucker will whip Biden in a debate,” it continues. “Sign the petition, draft Tucker Carlson for president.”
Chris Ekstrom, former Republican congressional candidate who serves as chair of the Draft Tucker PAC, claimed that he “vaguely” knows Carlson personally in an interview published by The Hill on Friday.
Ekstrom argued that Carlson entering the race would “move the debate as far right as it ought to be” and offer a “rude awakening” for the leading candidate, former President Donald Trump, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon.
Speculation that Carlson could run for president, or possibly become Trump’s running mate, heated up after he was fired from Fox News last month. Carlson has said that he instead intends to relaunch his conservative commentary career with a show on Twitter.
Newsweek has reached out via email to Draft Tucker PAC for comment.
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