The America First Policy Institute was supposed to add the ideological heft to Donald Trump’s ad hoc, seat-of-your-pants policymaking. But a year out from Election Day, Trump’s allies are signaling that the group may be doing more harm than good—and the campaign is making it clear that Trump, not any outside group, will be in charge of staffing up another White House.
The Daily Beast reviewed an internal AFPI email showing staff inside the organization collecting names and seeking recommendations for future Trump administration posts. When Trump campaign operatives got word of that effort, they saw it not only as premature, but also not AFPI’s place.
But more to the point, Trump’s associates are telling the think tank to back off from its donors, fearing that AFPI may be cannibalizing campaign contributors and confusing those who want to directly help Trump’s 2024 effort.
Two of Trump’s top advisers—Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita—took the notable step of issuing a joint statement earlier this week clarifying that outside groups do not “speak for President Trump or his campaign.”
“Therefore, these reports about personnel and policies that are specific to a second Trump Administration are purely speculative and theoretical,” they said. “Any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions.” [Continue reading…]