Senior Trump advisers prepare to launch policy group

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Senior advisers to President Donald Trump are preparing to launch a nonprofit group to promote the president’s policies once he leaves office, creating a landing spot for former Trump officials after the White House changes hands.

White House domestic policy adviser Brooke Rollins and chief economist Larry Kudlow have been putting the organization together and are expected to be heavily involved once it gets off the ground. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry are also among those likely to play roles.

Word of the yet-to-be-named outfit comes as top White House officials plot their futures and Trump’s post-presidential political apparatus gradually comes into focus, featuring a new PAC and potentially other entities as well. The new nonprofit group is expected to become a destination for many of the administration’s top policy advisers and Cabinet officials.

Kudlow has spoken about the nascent organization with the president, and senior White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has also been involved in the discussions.

“The president is very enthusiastic about this,” Kudlow said in a Tuesday interview.

The group, Rollins said, would promote the “legacy and consequences of this president” and ensure “those ideas continue and are defended whether in one month or in four years from now”.

“We’re really excited about it, we think it’s going to be a juggernaut,” she added.

Nonprofit groups can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors but do not have to disclose who gives the funds, and they do not have to report spending with anything near the line-item specificity required of federal political groups. It can take years for even scant details about nonprofit finances to come out, thanks to yearly tax filing deadlines and lengthy extensions available to many filers.

Organizers say they are considering a variety of activities, including running TV ads and holding live events. They point to an array of areas the group would be focused on, including the president’s policies on China, trade, immigration, and tech.

While organizers stressed the new group would not be focused explicitly on campaigns, they said they were open to criticizing members of either party who collided with Trump’s agenda.

“This is a very serious policy effort with significant data, significant research. We’ll have a team of economists,” said Rollins. “If we do move to calling out anyone for not fighting for the American people … it will be based entirely on data and policy.”

The president has already raised more than $200 million since Election Day, a big share of which is going into a newly formed leadership PAC, Save America. The PAC can fund travel and provide financial support for candidates Trump backs.

Organizers envision the policy group as being less focused on elections, and they say it will be funded entirely separately from Trump’s PAC, which has raised its money from the president’s vaunted email and text message list. The president’s campaign strategists are not expected to be involved, and it remains to be seen whether they launch their own political apparatus.

Those familiar with the planning for the new entity declined to specify the budget, but they noted that Rollins has experience in raising money for nonprofit groups given her previous oversight of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative Austin-based think tank. The think tank’s annual fundraising totals more than doubled in recent years, regularly hitting eight figures, according to the group’s federal tax filings, before Rollins left to join the Trump administration.

The formation of the new outfit raises questions about the future of America First Policies, a pro-Trump nonprofit group that many of the party’s donors saw as ineffective during Trump’s term in office.

Kudlow, well-known on cable news as a financial talk show host and Wall Street analyst, joined the White House in 2018 as director of the National Economic Council and top confidante of Trump. A self-described “happy warrior” for Trump, Kudlow pushed free trade and defended the president’s aggressive use of tariffs, a policy that generated criticism within the Republican Party.

Rollins has emerged as a Kushner ally, having worked with him on the criminal reform bill. Before the election, she was part of a team that directed planning for a potential second Trump term.

Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.

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