January 26, 2024 | The New Abnormal

‘Project 2025,’ what it is and what it could mean if Trump wins office

ISD Senior Research Analyst Jared Holt is a guest on the Daily Beast’s The New Abnormal podcast, discussing ‘Project 2025’, who is behind it, what it entails and what is at stake.

In conversation with co-host Danielle Moodie, Jared explained how the transition project known as Project 2025, led by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation alongside the America First Policy Institute, essentially is a “policy mandate (…), a list of different policy prescriptions on everything from immigration to foreign policy, to social issues and policing.” The transition plan would be carried out through a ‘database’ that would be built of Trump loyalists and their professional experiences, in order to fill government jobs if Trump wins with individuals aligned with the nominee’s views and plans. It is “basically like a LinkedIn to try to get into a Trump Administration. From there, promising candidates are vetted, then they receive training, curriculum to teach them sort of how to function in government and how to accomplish some of these things in government,” Jared said. The goal of the project being to secure that if Trump gets elected, these people could take a role in his Administration “from day 1.”

Jared then went on to explain how the project came from the idea that “what was really wrong with the Trump Administration was that it couldn’t accomplish everything that it sought out to do.” In order to solve that, the plan attempts to “get rid of that, reschedule a bunch of federal workers so that they are kind of pushed out of positions where they might provide friction to Trump, and then to stock what is left of these agencies with people who are down with the plan and you know, essentially, would echo what is coming from the Oval office.”

He adds that although it is legal to do all this in a structural sense within a president’s authority, this would allow Trump “to operate from the Oval Office with a more absolute control over the federal government.”

“I think a lot of people don’t really understand the stakes of what is happening or what could happen. (…) All the institutional power has been molded around this vision that is outlined so vividly in Project 2025, which I should add, is not a secret. You can buy it as a book,” he said.

Project 2025 is described by organizers as a “broad coalition of conservative organizations that have come together to ensure a successful administration begins in January 2025. With the right conservative policy recommendations and properly vetted and trained personnel to implement them….” It says it will pave “the way for an effective conservative Administration based on four pillars: a policy agenda, Presidential Personnel Database, Presidential Administration Academy, and playbook for the first 180 days of the next Administration.”

The episode from 26 January is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Jared’s interview begins at 23.32.