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On Wednesday, the former president sent an exclamation mark-laden letter to union president Gabrielle Carteris announcing his resignation. “I no longer wish to be associated with your union,” Trump wrote after enumerating what he called the union’s “dismal record. … As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resigning from SAG-AFTRA.”
In a comment on the letter, SAG-AFTRA said only, “Thank you.” Fox News was the first to report the news.
Earlier this month, SAG-AFTRA’s National Board voted “overwhelmingly” to convene a disciplinary hearing — which was to take place this week — to discuss Trump’s alleged violations of its constitution, with potential penalties including fines, suspension or expulsion. The charges, which national executive director David White levied against Trump at the request of Carteris, included Trump’s role in inciting the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol as well as continuing “a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members,” the union said in a press release.
In his letter, Trump blasts the union’s “blatant attempt at free media attention to distract from your dismal record as a union,” charging, “Your organization has done little for its members, and nothing for me — besides collecting dues and promoting dangerous un-American policies and ideas — as evident by your massive unemployment rates and lawsuits from celebrated actors.” The letter additionally touted Trump’s film and television roles and alleged that Trump “greatly helped the cable news television business” by creating “thousands of jobs at networks such as MSDNC [sic] and Fake News CNN, among many others.”
Trump had pensions at both the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (dating from before the two organizations merged in 2012) and throughout his time as president continued to receive residuals from roles in projects such as The Apprentice, Home Alone 2 and The Little Rascals.
In January, Carteris said of SAG-AFTRA’s move to discipline Trump, “Donald Trump attacked the values that this union holds most sacred — democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press.” She added, “There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”
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