The Trump campaign rolled out its official “Latinos for Trump” coalition two weeks ago with a blockbuster event featuring Vice President Mike Pence in Miami—but behind the scenes— tensions between the campaign and Latino surrogates from the last election had been boiling over for months.
Several Latino organizers who say they’ve spent the past few years working on building support for the president in Hispanic communities tell ABC News they felt shunned and ignored when they heard the Trump campaign was launching its own “Latinos for Trump” coalition, using the same name they’d worked under since the 2016 election, without their involvement.
Over the last few months, as the campaign pushed its outreach efforts in Hispanic communities, pro-Trump Latino advocates and surrogates have been in an internal war of words and legal threats with the president’s reelection campaign over its decision to launch its own Latino coalition under the same name in late June.
Since April, the Trump campaign has issued multiple cease and desist letters threatening legal action against the “Latinos for Trump” organization, according to documents provided to ABC News.
The campaign also filed a letter to the Federal Election Commission disavowing the group.
The group continues to solicit donations on its website despite the campaign’s multiple requests.
“After all this time spent, they are cannibalizing and taking credit for our work,” Marco Gutierrez, the “Latinos for Trump” president, tells ABC News.
Marco Gutierrez also worked alongside the 2016 Trump campaign as a surrogate for Hispanic outreach.
He made national headlines during the 2016 election cycle for warning that there would be “taco trucks on every corner” if Trump wasn’t elected.