Former President Trump’s allies are pre-screening the ideologies of thousands of potential foot soldiers, as part of an unprecedented operation to centralize and expand his power at every level of the U.S. government if he wins in 2024, officials involved in the effort tell Axios.
Why it matters: Hundreds of people are spending tens of millions of dollars to install a pre-vetted, pro-Trump army of up to 54,000 loyalists across government to rip off the restraints imposed on the previous 46 presidents.
- The screening for ready-to-serve loyalists has already begun, driven in part by artificial intelligence from tech giant Oracle, contracted for the project.
- Social media histories are already being plumbed.
What’s happening: When Trump took office in 2017, he included many conventional Republicans in his Cabinet and key positions. Those officials often curtailed his behavior and power.
- Trump himself spends little time plotting governing plans. But he is well aware of a highly coordinated campaign to be ready to jam government offices with loyalists willing to stretch traditional boundaries.
If Trump were to win, thousands of Trump-first loyalists would be ready for legal, judicial, defense, regulatory and domestic policy jobs. His inner circle plans to purge anyone viewed as hostile to the hard-edged, authoritarian-sounding plans he calls “Agenda 47.”
- The people leading these efforts aren’t figures like Rudy Giuliani. They’re smart, experienced people, many with very unconventional and elastic views of presidential power and traditional rule of law.
Behind the scenes: The government-in-waiting is being orchestrated by the Heritage Foundation’s well-funded Project 2025, which already has published a 920-page policy book from 400+ contributors. Think of it as a transition team set in motion years in advance. [Continue reading…]