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Wikipedia claims in the opening paragraph of the article about Trump's 2024 campaign, "Trump has campaigned on vastly expanding the authority of the federal government, particularly the executive branch, as expressed by his support of Project 2025..." It provides two references, including a Politico article that describes Project 2025, but does not offer a direct quote where Trump refers to Project 2025 by name.

Has Trump actually made a clear endorsement of Project 2025, including, but not limited to, saying that it is a good document, that his platform is based on Project 2025 (and not the other way around), or that he will be using it as a guide for policymaking if he is elected? Or are claims like the one on Wikipedia guesses based on the fact that many authors of Project 2025 are staunch Trump supporters and/or former aides?

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    It seems to me that the two references are associated with the claim that Trump's campaign supports "a reimposition of the Jacksonian spoils system" (which continues your quote from the Wikipedia article). I don't read them as references for the claimed support of Project 2025 by Trump.
    – Schmuddi
    Jan 17 at 10:30
  • @Schmuddi That is a reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent, particularly because, in my opinion, the citations do not show that Trump "supports" Project 2025. The question of whether he has expressed support still stands though. Jan 18 at 5:44
  • Probably the only reason that the hasn't is that that there's competition out there in form of "Pathway to 2025" ran by another former Trump official npr.org/2023/12/06/1217562544/… I guess he's hedging his bets which of these would be more likely to succeed. Jan 18 at 18:55

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By name? Not that I'm aware of. OTOH he did do something that critics say is/was roughly similar in purpose:

In October 2020, the White House announced it was adding Schedule F to the Excepted Service (ES), which is the slice of the federal workforce that operates outside of the competitive selection process. Prior to the Trump revision, the ES had five categories of workers, of which Schedule C, for political appointees below the level of agency heads, is the most well-known. Schedule F was created to allow appointments on a non-competitive basis outside of the range of presidential appointments for positions of a “confidential,” “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character.”

Depending on how such terms are defined, there are potentially tens of thousands of federal workers who might be moved from protected to Schedule F status. That is the case even though, in January 2021, most federal agencies chose to ignore or downplay the request from the White House for a list of positions falling within Schedule F. Of those agencies that took the exercise seriously, only the Office of Management and Budget proposed to move a sizeable share of its workforce into the new employment category.

Upon taking office, the Biden administration recognized immediately the threat that Schedule F posed to long-standing civil service norms, and promptly rescinded the Trump order. [...]

An additional warning of what might lie ahead can be seen in the detailed plans being laid by Trump-affiliated and friendly organizations. They have banded together to advance what is being called Project 2025, which is a broad effort to prepare an agenda and governing playbook for a potential second Trump term. A major focus of the initiative is a personnel recruitment drive aimed at filling federal agencies with Trump-supportive workers in positions newly reclassified by Schedule F.

And, of course, he promised (sometime in April or March 2023) to put that order back in place if re-elected.

Last month, Trump released a list of proposals to take down what many conservatives believe is a secret cabal of government workers who wield enormous power and work against Republicans. [...]

At the top of Trump’s list is reinstituting an executive order known as “Schedule F,” which would reclassify tens of thousands of federal employees involved in policy decisions as at-will employees. In other words, they would lose their employment protections, and it would be much easier for a president to fire them.

Trump's preferred name for this thing seems to be "Agenda47":

CLEAN OUT THE DEEP STATE: President Trump has announced a ten-point plan to dismantle the deep state and reclaim our democracy from Washington corruption:

  1. On Day One, re-issue 2020 executive order restoring the president’s authority to fire rogue bureaucrats. [...]

That 'schedule F' plan was also endorsed by DeSantis, BTW--same source. (DeSantis now dropped out of the race and is supporting Trump, but this goes to show it's a plan with widespread support among Republicans.)

If there's a reason for Trump not to publicly endorse Project 2025, is that it's not the only proposed pool of replacements:

Brooke Rollins, Trump's former domestic policy chief, leads the America First Policy Institute, which is working on a similar effort, called Pathway to 2025.

I.e. while 'schedule F' (aka point 1 of Agenda47) has broad Republican support, there's still competition whom exactly to provide/vet the pool of loyalists. Ibid:

Most prominently, rival think tanks – the Heritage Foundation and the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) – are collecting names for potential political appointees, putting forward detailed plans to staff the next Trump administration quickly and efficiently. Both have raised millions for this effort.

And there might be bit of rub there, because:

You've heard of Project 2025, primarily a Heritage Foundation project, and the America First Policy Institute, which is staffed almost exclusively with former Trump administration officials. AFPI was founded explicitly as a MAGA rejoinder to Heritage.

Trump may or may not trust Heritage enough for this job. We've yet to hear from him publicly on this contest, I think.

Moar on this surprisingly poorly covered contest (in the MSM):

Project 2025, a semi-secretive undertaking of the Heritage Foundation, and the America First Policy Institute, a collection of Trump administration all-stars and hangers-on, are already blueprinting and fantasy-drafting the future right-wing administration of their dreams. Whereas Heritage had started laying out the groundwork for Project 2025 two years ago to staff a “turnkey” operation for whichever Republican won the nomination—notably, they announced the Project’s existence at an event headlined by Ron DeSantis—AFPI was specifically built as a sinecure for Trump loyalists. “It’s basically the Trump administration in exile,” a conservative insider told me. [...]

On some level, Project 2025 represents a conservative unity effort I’d long thought impossible. Just about every prominent right-wing organization I’ve followed over the past ten years—the pro-life groups and student activist armies; the Midwestern think tanks and right-wing magazines; the Tea Party Patriots, the Family Research Council, Stephen Miller’s legal firm, Moms for Liberty, you name it—has put aside their differences and are collaborating, a rare feat in an era where Republicans can’t even come together to pick a House Speaker.

But of course, there had to be one exception: The America First Policy Institute, featuring the ghosts of Trumpworld past (Kellyanne Conway, Hogan Gidley, Larry Kudlow, Pam Bondi, Linda McMahon, Matt Whittaker, Chad Wolf, etcetera), which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Trump Agenda. “It’s pretty much everyone except them,” a person familiar with Heritage’s efforts complained. “They’ve been invited, but they refuse to join.”

On September 20, AFPI formally launched their own presidential transition project, focused on putting together their own personnel list of proposed appointees to staff the next administration, as well as their own list of proposed executive actions.

Both groups largely share the same goal of placing the “right people” inside the next administration, whether it’s under Trump or someone else (but let’s just say it’s Trump). But who precisely is on those shortlists is worth going to war over. Indeed, after several conversations with members of both Project 2025 and the AFPI Transition Project, it’s clear that neither has any plans to back down—although naturally, befitting the D.C. think tank scene, their sniping was genteel. [...]

The Project 2025 and AFPI efforts primarily diverge over personnel and tactics, although there are ideological differences as well. “I wouldn’t say it’s super black and white, but Heritage is trying to be more conservative, whereas AFPI is specifically Trump policy,” the well-placed insider explained. [...]

[...] the AFPI, which only launched in 2021, has roughly $14 million in the bank per their most recent tax filings—including a $1 million donation from Trump’s Save America PAC. [...]

Indeed, the abiding irony of the arms race between Project 2025 and AFPI is that for the millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours they are pouring into their individual initiatives, their efforts could all be rendered moot by the decision and whims of one man: the winner of the 2024 presidential election. Should that victor be the notoriously mercurial Trump, it’s hard to tell which organization would have the upper hand. There is plenty of character evidence to suggest he would ignore both of them. “I suspect he’s going to play footsie with both, and take names from both, and take policies from both and just kind of pick and choose,” the insider continued.

For now, both teams coexist under the aegis of Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou shall not speak ill of another conservative. (Dans specifically invoked it when I asked him about their entreaties to AFPI.) And both have acknowledged that it’s up to the president to decide which team to use, fully aware that it’s possible that he could use people from both.

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