Donald Trump is leading Joe Biden in several polls with the 2024 election now less than a year away. The former president reportedly has long planned to overhaul the government in his image should he win another term, and Axios reported on Monday that his team is busy screening thousands of loyalists in the hopes of installing an army of up to 54,000 MAGA diehards to expand the president’s power.
Trump is clearly not happy with many of his key hires during his first term in office, regularly slamming former lackeys like Attorney General Bill Barr, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Adivser John Bolton. Axios reported in 2022 that Trump planned to ensure the loyalty not just of his high-profile appointments, should he win in 2024, but of thousands of mid-level staffers working throughout the government. Political views, rather than credentials or experience, are driving the process.
The outlet reported on Monday that the effort is well underway — and it’s sophisticated. The campaign is contracting “smart, experienced people, many with very unconventional and elastic views of presidential power and traditional rule of law,” according to Axios, to ensure new hires are fully onboard with the brutal policy proposals Trump has floated. It’s also using AI to vet potentail staffers, including by srubbing their social media.
Trump, moreso than any of his Republican competitors, has laid out a sweeping policy agenda should he win in 2024. Rolling Stone has reported extensively of what Trump has in mind for a second term, including bringing back firing squads and group executions, cracking down on the homeless and other at-risk groups, pulling the U.S. out of NATO, and more. Trump has also repeatedly indicated that he will weaponize the Justice Department to go after his political enemies, including the people responsible for his four criminal indictments and other legal issues. Trump described his political opponents as “vermin” in a Truth Social post on Saturday. The New York Times reported the same day on Trump’s sweeping plans to attack immigrants — including through deportations.
The effort to vet a thousands-strong force of government employees to facillitate Trump’s authoritiarian plans — which he’s all but guarnteed will include the eradication of said “vermin” — is being led by The Heritage Foundation’s “Project 25,” which is to say that it’s the effort not just of Trump’s team but of the conservative establishment at large. The push would also serve any other Republican who might defeat Trump in the primary but, as Axios notes, it’s all about Trump and his agenda, with Trump personnel enforcer John McEntee working as a senior adviser on the project.
The Axios report on Monday emphasizes that the former president and the conservative forces organizing the effort to screen potential staffers are going to stop at nothing to tear down any governmental roadblocks standing in the way of Trump’s brutal vision for the future of the country.
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