Think tank takes diplomatic route after Trump disses Project 2025

Think tank takes diplomatic route after Trump disses Project 2025

Think tank takes diplomatic route after Trump disses Project 2025

A conservative think tank has chosen a diplomatic approach after being abandoned by Donald Trump, but others are being more direct about his political diss of The Heritage Foundation and its extensive policy proposals for a second term.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump not only disavowed Heritage and its Project 2025 but claimed he didn’t know anything about its ideas and plans for a second Trump term.

"I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it," Trump wrote.

In reality, several people who have contributed to Project 2025 worked in the first Trump administration, such as Russell Vought, the former Office of Personnel Management director under Trump.

Vought, in fact, was also involved in drafting the Republican National Committee platform as part of its leadership team, an ABC News story pointed out.

John McEntee, a former Trump advisor, also joined Project 2025 as a senior advisor in May 2023. In an April interview with The Daily Wire, he said Heritage and the Trump campaign have been “pretty separate for now” but predicted Heritage will “integrate” its Project 2025 work with the campaign over the summer.

A 'second American revolution'

Trump’s sudden attempt to distance himself from Heritage and Project 2025 comes after liberal media outlets reported on recent comments by Kevin Roberts, the Heritage president. In a June 2 interview, Roberts said conservatives are winning political victories and are experiencing a “second American revolution, which will remain bloodless if the Left allows it.”

That comment was predictably twisted by the Biden campaign and news outlets to claim Roberts was calling for blood in the streets. Trump’s allies are “dreaming of a violent revolution to destroy the very idea of America,” a Biden campaign spokesman said.  

Roberts, Kevin (Heritage Foundation) Roberts

Trump’s comment about Heritage and Project 2025 came three days later, on June 5.

In an AFN interview about Trump’s post, Project 2025 spokesman Brian Phillips addressed left-wing critics of Project 2025 rather than Trump himself.

“They are desperately afraid of this effort because they know, for the first time in a long time, the conservative movement is getting coordinated,” Phillips says.

Phillips also told AFN that Heritage did not develop Project 2025 for any particular candidate, or a presidential campaign, but for the “American people” who would benefit from a future administration implementing the ideas and policies.

Phillips also told AFN that Heritage appreciated Trump's "wish them luck" comment in the post, calling that "kind words" from the former president. 

Heritage goal is to 'rescue the country' 

Heritage’s political blueprint, which dates back to 2022, is formally known as the 2025 Presidential Transition Project. It includes a policy agenda and a “playbook” for the first 180 days of the next Republican administration, as well as a hiring database and a training program called the “Presidential Administration Academy.”

The idea dates back to the early days of the Biden administration, when the think tank put its conservative scholars and political thinkers to work on future plans for a future Republican president.

“If we are going to rescue the country from the grip of the radical Left,” the Project 2025 website explains, “we need both a governing agenda and the right people in place, ready to carry this agenda out on day one of the next conservative administration.”

AFN first wrote about the 2025 Presidential Transition Project in a February 2023 story. For that story, AFN interviewed Paul Dans, who is the project's director. He previously served as chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management during Trump's first term. 

Democrats know about Project 2025, too

Democrats who routinely call Trump a “threat to democracy” have expressed similar alarm over Heritage and its presidential plans, too. Similarities between Project 2025 and Agenda 47, the Trump campaign’s detailed agenda for a second term, have also gotten noticed by Democrats and the Far Left.

Robert Knight Knight

In his Truth Social post, Trump went on to call some of its plans “absolutely ridiculous and abysmal,” but did not specify what he was referring to.

Reacting to Trump’s post, Washington Times columnist Robert Knight tells AFN it would not be the first time Trump has to backtrack from his remarks.

“President Trump says some things he has to take back later,” Knight says. “He’s an off-the-cuff guy, shoot from the hip.”

Zawistowski, Tom (We the People Convention) Zawistowski

Tom Zawistowski, an Ohio-based tea party activist, tells AFN he was “stunned” Trump claimed he didn’t have anything to do with Heritage and Project 2025. That plan, he says, is how you implement Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign theme in a second Trump term.

What likely happened, Zawistowski says, is the liberal media “demonized” the conservative blueprint and then Trump caved because of the bad press.

“I’m outraged,” he says of Trump’s decision.