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Trump disavows ‘Project 2025’ amidst controversy, alleged ties to conservative think tank

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Former President Donald Trump has publicly distanced himself from “Project 2025,” a comprehensive agenda proposed by the Heritage Foundation for the next Republican presidency.

This comes just days after Kevin Roberts, the president of the conservative think tank, made inflammatory remarks on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, claiming that a second American Revolution was underway and suggesting it would “remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

Democrats have been quick to seize on the plan, using it to underscore what they describe as Trump’s extreme policy agenda should he win the presidential election against incumbent President Joe Biden on November 5. Critics have gone so far as to call the plan a blueprint for autocracy.

On his Truth Social platform, Trump sought to clear the air, stating, “I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it.” He further added, “I disagree with some of the things they’re saying,” labeling some of the project’s assertions as “absolutely ridiculous and abysmal.”

Trump’s denial follows Roberts’ controversial comments, which many interpreted as a veiled threat of violence against political opponents. Roberts had asserted that Americans were engaged in a revolution “to take power back from the elites and despotic bureaucrats,” while accusing the political left of having a history of violence.

Despite Trump’s disavowal, the connections between his previous administration and Project 2025 are hard to ignore. Many individuals involved in crafting the plan, which includes a 900-page blueprint for drastic federal government reform, previously worked in the Trump White House and are expected to play significant roles should Trump secure a second term. Among them are Russ Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Stephen Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, both of whom hold influential positions within the Project 2025 framework.

Political analysts suggest that Trump’s distancing from Project 2025 may be a strategic move to moderate his message as the election draws nearer. James Wallner, a political science professor at Clemson University, noted, “Trump is basically now seeking to appeal to a broader audience,” particularly as President Biden’s campaign faces challenges following a lackluster performance in the June 27 debate.

The Biden campaign has intensified its efforts to link Trump’s candidacy with Project 2025. Campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa stated, “Project 2025 is the extreme policy and personnel playbook for Trump’s second term that should scare the hell out of the American people.”

The controversial plan, drawn up by the Heritage Foundation in collaboration with other conservative groups, advocates for significant changes, including the dismantling of certain federal agencies and a substantial increase in presidential power. While Trump’s recent statements indicate alignment with some of the project’s goals, he appears keen to distance himself from its more contentious aspects.

As the election approaches, Trump’s maneuver to distance himself from Project 2025 highlights the delicate balance he must strike between appealing to his conservative base and moderating his message to attract a broader electorate.

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