Trump denies knowing about Project 2025, his allies' sweeping plan to transform the US government


MIAMI (AP) — Donald Trump distanced himself Friday from Project 2025, a massive proposed overhaul of the federal government drafted by longtime allies and former officials in his administration, days after the head of the think tank responsible for the program suggested there would be a second American Revolution.

“I know nothing about Project 2025,” Trump posted on his social media website. “I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

The 922-page plan outlines a dramatic expansion of presidential power and a plan to fire as many as 50,000 government workers to replace them with Trump loyalists. President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has worked to draw more attention to the agenda, particularly as Biden tries to keep fellow Democrats on board after his disastrous debate.

Trump has outlined his own plans to remake the government if he wins a second term, including staging the largest deportation operation in U.S. history and imposing tariffs on potentially all imports. His campaign has previously warned outside allies not to presume to speak for the former president and suggested their transition-in-waiting efforts were unhelpful.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast Tuesday that Republicans are “in the process of taking this country back.” Former U.S. Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia hosted the show for Bannon, who is serving a four-month prison term.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be,” Roberts said.

Those comments were widely circulated online and blasted by the Biden campaign, which issued a statement saying Trump and his allies were “dreaming of a violent revolution to destroy the very idea of America.”

Some of the people involved in Project 2025 are former senior administration officials. The project’s director is Paul Dans, who served as chief of staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under Trump. Trump’s campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt was featured in one of Project 2025’s videos.

John McEntee, a former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, is a senior adviser. McEntee told the conservative news site The Daily Wire earlier this year that Project 2025’s team would integrate a lot of its work with the campaign after the summer when Trump would announce his transition team.

Trump’s comments on Project 2025 come ahead of the Republican Party’s meetings next week to begin to draft its party platform.

Project 2025 has been preparing its own 180-day agenda for the next administration that it plans to share privately, rather than as part of its public-facing book of priorities for a Republican president. A key Trump ally, Russ Vought, who contributed to Project 2025 and is drafting this final pillar, is also on the Republican National Committee’s platform writing committee.

A spokesperson for the plan said Project 2025 is not tied to a specific candidate or campaign.

“We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy and personnel recommendations for the next conservative president,” a statement said. “But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement.”

The Democratic National Committee said the plan and the Trump campaign are part of the same “MAGA operation.” A Biden campaign spokesperson said that Project 2025 staff members are also leading the Republican policy platform.

“Project 2025 is the extreme policy and personnel playbook for Trump’s second term that should scare the hell out of the American people,” said Ammar Moussa.

On Thursday, as the country celebrated Independence Day and Biden prepared for his television interview after his halting debate performance, the president’s campaign posted on X a shot from the dystopian TV drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” showing a group of women in the show’s red dresses and white hats standing in formation by a reflecting pool with a cross at the far end where the Washington Monument should be. The story revolves around women who are stripped of their identities and forced to give birth to children for other couples in a totalitarian regime.

“Fourth of July under Trump’s Project 2025,” the post said.

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Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in New York and Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.



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