Ex-Pence adviser: ‘Just ludicrous’ for Trump to try to distance himself from Project 2025

An ex-national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that former President Trump’s attempts to distance himself from Project 2025 are “ludicrous,” citing its deep ties to his administration.

“This is preposterous,” Olivia Troye said in a CNN interview. “If you look at the collaborators and the authors of this plan, a lot of these people came from directly people that served in Trump’s Cabinet during this administration.”

Project 2025, crafted by the Heritage Foundation as a blueprint for a second Trump administration, has raised concerns for recommendations including replacing civil service jobs with political appointees and expanding the power of the executive.

Trump said last week he has no ties to the plan and isn’t aware of its contents. Close Trump allies have also distanced Trump from the document, including politicians on his vice presidential shortlist.

Notable contributors to Project 2025 include former Trump administration officials Ben Carson and Ken Cuccinelli, Troye pointed out. It has also been praised by allies, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Project 2025 is led by Paul Dans, who served as chief of staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under Trump. Trump’s campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt is also featured in one of the project’s videos.

“Ben Carson, come on! He’s been out there on the campaign trail with the president,” Troye said. “So I think this is just ludicrous.”

“But I think what this is telling us is that Donald Trump knows that what is written in this plan is so extreme that it is damaging to his possibility of getting elected,” she added. “And that’s what he’s concerned [about].”

Troye said that the contents of the document, including limits on access to abortion medication and plans to eliminate the Department of Education, are actually harmful to Trump’s campaign, explaining his distance.

“I am a conservative leaning individual. I am a lifelong Republican. But when I think of the traditional tenets of the GOP, I think of fiscal conservatism, I think of individual liberties,” she said. “And quite honestly, if you go through and really read through this plan, this is complete overreach by the federal government on our individual liberties.”

President Biden’s campaign blasted Project 2025 as something that should “scare every American” in a Saturday statement.

“He’s trying to hide his connections to his allies’ extreme Project 2025 agenda,” Biden said. “The only problem? It was written for him, by those closest to him.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.