Former President Donald Trump is emerging as a top contender in the race for the 2024 presidential election. As he prepares for a potential win, Trump and his allies are looking for ways to ensure that employees and political appointees share similar ideologies to his own. One approach being considered is the implementation of a third-party screening process.
During his past presidency, Trump appointed and fired multiple government officials and Cabinet members. With a potential return to the White House, Trump’s allies want to ensure that future employees are aligned with the Republican frontrunner and his policy agenda.
A recent report from Axios shed light on a survey being conducted by Project 2025, an organization that aims to pave the way for an effective conservative administration. According to the Project 2025 website, the organization provides a policy agenda and a playbook for the first 180 days of an administration.
The report suggests that a 2020 questionnaire may have been used to identify potential administration candidates. The questionnaire, obtained by Axios from a Trump administration alumnus, included questions about Trump’s campaign message, preferred political commentators or thinkers, and media appearances related to the Trump administration.
The Project 2025 questionnaire, also obtained by Axios, asks respondents to name individuals who have influenced their political philosophy, public policy figures they greatly admire, and their most passionate public policy issue. It also includes statements for respondents to agree or disagree with, covering topics such as the authority of the United Nations, immigration policies, education, the recognition of sexes, and more.
The questions asked in these questionnaires aim to determine the ideologies and alignment of potential employees with Trump’s views. A Trump White House alumnus stated that they want to ensure that applicants are listening to conservative voices like Tucker Carlson, rather than referencing past Republican leaders like Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.
The Heritage Foundation, the organization behind Project 2025, has reportedly received over 5,000 applications. The project has briefed campaigns for several presidential candidates, including Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
However, it is important to note that the questionnaire is not the sole method of selecting employees for a potential Trump administration. While it focuses on personal beliefs and ideologies, qualifications for White House positions are also considered.
The Trump campaign has clarified that it is not affiliated with the Heritage Foundation and that the think tank does not speak for Trump or his campaign. Trump campaign officials Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita have stated that an official transition effort will be announced at a later date.
Notably, Johnny McEntee, a Trump loyalist and former Trump staffer, is a part of the Project 2025 team.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, it is clear that Trump and his allies are taking steps to ensure a team that aligns with his conservative ideology. While the screening process is not without controversy, it highlights the importance of shared beliefs and ideologies in Trump’s potential future administration.