A recently launched PAC pressuring former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to run for president has gone silent after receiving a legal threat from Carlson’s lawyer.
Carlson’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, sent the PAC officers a cease-and-desist letter Monday.
“Mr. Carlson will not run for President in 2024 under any circumstances, and therefore your misrepresentations are damaging to Mr. Carlson and defrauding his supporters,” Dhillon wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill. “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.”
Dhillon added that the PAC did “not have Mr. Carlson’s permission or support to use his name, image, or likeness in your efforts,” accusing them of doing so “for your own benefit” to later sell donor lists, and that taking funds would lead to donors’ “disappointment and frustration.”
The move came days after the PAC aired a political ad on the conservative outlet Newsmax.
Chris Ekstrom, the PAC’s chairman and one of its financial backers, told The Hill that the ad had raised only $212 online so far and that he contributed $35,000 of his own money. He noted that the PAC will either donate the funds raised to a charity that Carlson supports or refund it to those who contributed.
Following the letter, the Draft Tucker PAC said it asked Newsmax to pull the Draft Tucker PAC ads currently running on the network.
“Tucker’s attorney has contacted us to let us know that Tucker is not a candidate for president nor has any intentions of running and asked us to cease all activities on his behalf. We are going to honor that request,” spokesman and GOP consultant Charlie Kolean said in a statement.
Carlson has repeatedly said that he would not run for president in 2024 but his influence on the right coupled with his recent ouster from Fox News has left some supporters wondering if he could ultimately change his mind.
The ex-primetime host has teased the return of his show on Twitter but has yet to share specific details on the venture.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post published a report that Carlson is in talks with former President Donald Trump to form a new Republican debate forum. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson In Talks With Donald Trump To Host GOP Forum)
Carlson and his team have discussed the possibility of moderating a candidate forum outside of the traditional protocols surrounding the GOP primary debate system, according to two people familiar with the considerations. These people said the setup — as well as Carlson’s availability to take on that kind of role, given the noncompete constraints of his contract with Fox — remain unclear. But Carlson has personally expressed enthusiasm about the idea, according to people familiar with his comments. At least one major candidate — Trump — has told Carlson he’s interested, according to a person familiar with the exchange.