Home Politics Trump disavowal of Project 2025 is campaign talk: Cuccinelli

Trump disavowal of Project 2025 is campaign talk: Cuccinelli


(NewsNation) — One of the minds behind “Project 2025” says the handbook is simply a policy smorgasbord for former President Donald Trump‘s campaign to peruse, not a campaign-endorsed manual for the upcoming election.

Trump on Project 2025

Trump said on Truth Social this month that he knows “nothing” about Project 2025, which former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Project 2025 co-author Ken Cuccinelli told “Cuomo” means nothing “at this point.”

“I mean, he is running a campaign. This is something that are the policies or things that are available for his policy team to look at. They know it exists,” Cuccinelli said. “They’re not spending time right now, you know, analyzing it to see whether they fall in line with the president’s position.”

What is Project 2025?

Cuccinelli said Project 2025, which acts a guide for the next president to undo what the authors call “damage” done by liberals, has been in the works for years and was never meant to be conflated with Trump.

“It was designed with the understanding that no nominee would like all of it or large chunks of it,” Cuccinelli said. “But for the pieces they were in agreement with, there’d be people ready to go and move on it.”

Project 2025 policies

A main component of Project 2025 is the firing of as many as 50,000 federal workers who would interfere with a conservative agenda, Critics say Project 2025 is extremist, “authoritarian” and even dystopian.

If adopted, an “overhaul” of the Department of Justice would also end FBI efforts to stop misinformation and the Pentagon would “abolish” diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Agencies including the U.S. Department of Education would be “eliminated,” while the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department would be placed under the presidential control.

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But Cuccinelli stresses that plenty of things within the document will never see the light of day. One such proposal is dismantling the Department of Homeland Security, as it is a “20-year experiment that was done on a bipartisan basis to look busy to the American people after 9/11,” according to Cuccinelli.

“We only spent a page on it. No candidate ever talked about that. We do think that would be the best outcome, long term, but we didn’t spend a lot of time on it,” he said. “Because we think the probability of it getting adopted not just by a president, but also by Congress, on a bipartisan basis, is very low.”

Project 2025 also touches on social and health issues, with proposed policy scaling back or completely undoing many of President Joe Biden‘s efforts. Abortion would be limited to mail-order pills with providers penalized, while Medicare and Social Security would be privatized.

Reactions to Project 2025

Democrats have raised alarm over the project, with U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., warning that Americans ”don’t understand just how far down the road to a dystopic, right-wing theocracy we are right now.”

A Project 2025 spokesperson rejected these criticisms in a statement to NewsNation partner The Hill, saying they are “simply projection” and that it is Biden who is abusing his executive power.

Bush family member and staunch Nikki Haley supporter Johnny Bush, who also joined “Cuomo” to discuss the handbook, believes some of its policies — namely abortion and other social issues — have dimished its message.

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“Heritage has a long tradition of great work in research, and in policy and in thinking things through,” Bush said. “Of late, apparently, a little more social crusading going on which, you know, I find to be too bad. But I’m just one guy.”

Bush, however, praised the “entire approach,” calling the project and its 900 pages of policy proposals a “great idea.”

Cuomo pointed out the guide could have worked as two separate volumes: “One volume would have been, here’s our sense of the fiscal and the administrative. And then, if you’re more of a fringe type that’s into the culture issues, here’s something for you as well.”

“Not fringe,” Cuccinelli replied as the interview concluded.

NewsNation’s Cassie Buchman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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