Donald Trump distances himself from right-wing ‘Project 2025’ policy blueprint

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Donald Trump has sought to distance himself from a group of influential right-wing policy wonks who have offered a controversial blueprint for the former Republican president should he secure another four years in the White House.

“I know nothing about Project 2025,” Trump said in a post to his Truth Social platform on Friday.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee for the White House was referencing a sweeping platform drawn up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation think-tank, intended to provide a policy framework for a future Trump administration.

The move by Trump will be seen as an effort to distance himself from the more radical elements of his party in an effort to appeal to moderate voters heading into November’s election. Trump enjoys a clear polling advantage over President Joe Biden, the Democratic incumbent, whose polling numbers have taken a hit since his disastrous debate performance last week.

The architects of Project 2025 have proposed a dramatic overhaul of the federal government, including a big expansion of executive branch powers. They have also put forward a range of aggressive, socially conservative proposals, including demanding that the federal government cut any funding for abortions and that the Food and Drug Administration reverse its approval of abortion pills.

“I have no idea who is behind it,” Trump added. “I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

Trump’s comments came days after the Heritage Foundation’s president, Kevin Roberts, said the US was “in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be”.

Roberts made the remarks on an episode of Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, which is being guest hosted while Bannon, a former top Trump White House adviser, is serving a prison sentence for contempt of Congress.

Several people involved in Project 2025 are prominent Trump allies and former White House officials, including Russ Vought, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget in his administration.

Democrats have accused Trump of a “desperate attempt to hide his deep ties with Project 2025”, with a Biden campaign spokesperson calling the initiative an “extreme policy and personnel playbook for Trump’s second term that should scare the hell out of the American people”.

A spokesperson for Project 2025 said in a statement posted to social media: “As we’ve been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign. We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy and personnel recommendations for the next conservative president.”

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