Ex-Donald Trump officials are scheming their White House return to “hit the ground running”

The America First Policy Institute and Heritage Foundation started initiatives that would help the next Republican president, Donald Trump, to step back into power.

Both initiatives are tied to Trump

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The America First Policy Institute, or AFPI, was founded in 2021 to promote former U.S. President Donald Trump’s public policy agenda. Politico described the nonprofit as the “White House in waiting.”

Conservative Heritage Foundation

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The Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973. However, its ties to Trump became apparent after the organization published Project 2025, a guideline for the next Republican president, with an aim to reshape the U.S. Federal government.

How-to guides

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AFPI recently announced how-to guides for upcoming aides. The group said the playbooks contain inputs from nine ex-cabinet members, 20 White House senior aides, and 400 other former administration officials.

The chair of AFPI spoke up

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Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and Chair of AFPI said, “We’re laying out policy ideas, but we’re also doing the simple-but-often-overlooked work of laying out how to get that done.” McMahon was joined by Trump’s administration, including former Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

Trump-focused people and policies

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Doug Hoelscher, a former Trump official leading the project at AFPI, said, “It’s really about reining in the administrative state and making sure the next America First administration can hit the ground running.”

Hoelscher further explained

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Hoelscher added, “We’re really laying the practical perspective on how the next America First president can implement their plans more quickly.”

70 conservative groups and senior Trump administration officials are involved with the Heritage Foundation

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The organization published a 1,000-page book with numerous ideas, including work requirements for nutrition benefits and a significant downsizing of the Environmental Protection Agency. They also have a so-called “conservative LinkedIn” where new administration members can apply, Bloomberg reported.

2025 Presidential Transition Project

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The Heritage Foundation is coordinating the 2025 Presidential Transition Project, and the project’s director, Paul Dans, said, “What we are really trying to do here is lay some of the groundwork so that people understand that when they elect the president, they don’t necessarily elect the government.”

Some of the ideas from the project

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Numerous political commentators see Project 2025 as a way to end American democracy. Some of the ideas promoted include “The U.S. has the right to select immigrants based on country of origin” or “The U.S. should impose tariffs with the goal of bringing back manufacturing jobs, even if these tariffs result in higher consumer prices.”

The controversy

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Republican climate advocates have opposed Project 2025’s climate policy. There are also other issues, including the treatment of the LGBTQ community, abortion, and education. It also raised red flags over the president’s powers.

“Path to Autocracy”

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David Corn wrote in Mother Jones that it was “an authoritarian danger that threatens American democracy,” which, if undefeated, “would place the nation on a path to autocracy.”

The project in Dans’ words

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Dans was cited for saying, “We need to flood the zone with conservatives.” “This is a clarion call to come to Washington,” he added and continued, “People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime moment to serve.’”

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