The Reagan Foundation demanded the ‘Trump Train’ bus remove an image of Ronald Reagan in a MAGA hat, according to a report

Trump bus train Florida
The ‘Trump Train’ recently attended a Florida rally featuring GOP Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
  • The Reagan Foundation told the “Trump Train” to remove images of Reagan, Salon reported.
  • The bus had featured images of Reagan in a red “Trump” hat and the Queen wearing a QAnon broach.
  • The foundation said that the bus’ use of the Reagan image infringed trademark law, per the report.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A non-partisan organization supporting the legacy of former President Ronald Reagan demanded that the owner of the so-called “Trump Train” remove an image of Reagan from its bus, according to a report by Salon’s Zachary Petrizzo.

A lawyer representing the Reagan Foundation wrote to Trump Train owner William “Buddy” Hall on May 13, saying that his use of an image of Reagan infringed trademark law, per photos of the letter shared by Salon.

The Trump Train, which is actually a bus, tours the US gathering support for former President Donald Trump, and attended a rally featuring GOP Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Florida earlier this month. The bus is not formally affiliated with Trump or the Trump Organization.

Recent photos showed that its decorative exterior included doctored images of Reagan and the Queen in red “Make America Great Again” hats, alongside images of Trump and his Vice-President Mike Pence.

-Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) May 7, 2021

Linda Merritt, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, told Hall to remove Reagan’s image and “permanently cease all other use of Ronald Reagan’s name and likeness for your tour bus services,” per Salon’s report.

“Your use of Ronald Reagan’s image in connection with your tour bus services and in advertising is likely to cause consumers to mistakenly believe that you are in some way affiliated, connected, or associated with the Reagan Foundation,” she added, per Salon.

The report came just days after Buckingham Palace requested that the bus also remove an image of the Queen that had been edited to add a QAnon badge to her coat.

Hall told Salon Monday that he had taken the images from Google two years ago, and that he thought it was “fine” to use them because they were in the public domain.

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He told Salon that “Reagan loved and admired Trump,” though the publication noted that there was little evidence to support this.

“We never want to upset anyone, we want it to be a fun bus to make people smile as it does by the millions,” Hall said.

He told Salon that the image of Reagan had already been removed from the bus four days before he received the letter from the Reagan Foundation, but that he could not provide evidence of this because he wasn’t in Florida, where the bus is currently based.

Hall also told Insider’s Melissa Wiley that he was already planning on removing the image of the Queen prior to the complaint from Buckingham Palace.

Trump Train image skitched
People walk past a bus wrapped with President Donald Trump photos during a Gaetz/Greene rally, Friday, May 7, 2021, in The Villages, Fla. Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

Hall told Salon that he planned to redecorate the bus with a “Wall of Appreciation” featuring Fox News host Sean Hannity, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, among others.

He wrote on Facebook that he would also add photos of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and right-wing author Candace Owens, and would remove the image of Pence, who he called a “traitor.”

Hall, Merritt, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.