Project 2025 July 10th Update

SHARE

SHARE

Project 2025 is a 920-page plan spearheaded by the powerful and extreme far-right Heritage Foundation. More than 100 organizations support this blueprint for autocracy. Their stated goal is to create an “ideal” America that would see women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, people of color, and others deprived of their hard-won constitutional rights and the erosion of environmental and education protections. It also advocates for a frightening centralization of power in the executive branch. Rooted in hate and Christian Nationalism, the plan promises to “rescue the country.” Read GPAHE’s full analysis of Project 2025 and the groups behind it.

GPAHE tracks the activities of those behind Project 2025, and their plans for an authoritarian and Christian Nationalist America, no matter who is president, and the groups in this extremist movement are relentlessly implementing initiatives at local, state, and federal levels.

This week we take a closer look at Project 2025’s architect Kevin Roberts and his violent rhetoric, as well as the undeniable ties between Project 2025 and Donald Trump.

The Man With A Plan For A Second American Revolution: Project 2025’s Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts, the outspoken president of the Heritage Foundation spearheading Project 2025, is no stranger to vitriolic positions and bellicose statements designed to court attention. 

Roberts, through Project 2025, has been open about his goals to “destroy” “hostile” progressive ideology in an envisioned “second American Revolution.”

His remarks last week are no exception.

“The left has taken over our institutions. The reason that they are apoplectic right now, the reason that so many anchors on MSNBC, for example, are losing their minds daily is because our side is winning. And so I come full circle on this response and just want to encourage you with some substance that we are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be,” Roberts pronounced on the July 2, 2024, episode of Steve Bannon’s War Room, the day after the show’s host reported to prison.

A longtime courter of controversy, Roberts’ recent remarks signaling a violent conservative uprising drew outraged headlines. This kind of rhetoric is par for the course for the Project 2025 architect whose ambitions and bold declarations have made him a powerful man in conservative circles, and may even parlay to a role in the White House. 

This “cowboy Catholic” armed with a black hat and a PhD in American history, Roberts, 50, has rapidly ascended to become one of the most influential figures in far-right politics.

His mission? To align the right behind so-called Trumpism and provide a nationalist manifesto that could fundamentally alter the landscape of U.S. governance, The Guardian reports.

Born into poverty in Lafayette, Louisiana, Roberts witnessed firsthand the economic volatility that shaped his worldview. After earning his doctorate in history, Roberts founded a Catholic school in his hometown before making waves as president of Wyoming Catholic College, where he rejected federal funding to maintain the institution’s discriminatory conservative principles and enjoyed his first taste of fame. 

As The New York Times reported, Students who are openly gay and dating, active gay-rights supporters or transgender “would be contravening church teaching just by being here,” Dr. Roberts said.” 

His talent for garnering attention and his political acumen would catch the eye of larger conservative organizations. He left Wyoming for a stint at the Project 2025 supporter the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) beginning in 2016, which doubled in size under his watch, the Houston Chronicle reported. Roberts’ salary in 2021 was just under $300,000, TPPF tax records show.

During his time at TPPF, a nursery for Christian Nationalist political operatives, Roberts solidified his reputation as a culture warrior. 

He became known for fighting against COVID restrictions, critical race theory and “teaching transgenderism to kindergartners,” the Washington Post reports. 

Roberts claimed the helm of the country’s largest and best-funded conservative powerhouse, the Heritage Foundation, in October 2021. 

This was a rapid and surprising ascent for a leader with no Beltway bona fides who drives a black  ​​Ford F-150 with “Don’t Tread on Me” plates to Washington D.C. events.

While Roberts is a newcomer to the trappings of Christian Nationalist success, behind this working-class construct is the same man who rails against “global elites” while wearing handcrafted Lucchese luxury cowboy boots

Shortly after his move to Heritage was announced, Roberts told Real Clear Politics that his leadership will “not only be less DC-centric, it will be one that gets back to its roots of being hostile, hostile, hostile to the centralization of power in the national capital.”

It has indeed been “hostile, hostile, hostile,” as recent remarks have shown, but also very lucrative. 

In 2022, Heritage took in $106,329,524 and reported assets of $331,987,871, tax returns reveal, with Roberts receiving compensation of $668,880. In September 2023, Roberts took on the additional role of president of Heritage Action, heading up the organization’s political arm.

At the heart of Roberts’ vision is Project 2025 which aims to institutionalize Trumpism,” Roberts has said, while setting the course for conservative governance for years to come. His leadership has resulted in more than 110 prominent conservative and Christian Nationalist organizations signing on to the Project’s advisory board, which enjoys a $22 million budget. 

Roberts doesn’t mince words about Project 2025’s intentions. “We need to understand what time it is in America,” he declared on MSNBC on June 22, 2024. “And right now, Donald Trump, whether someone likes it or not — I happen to like it — is the standard bearer for conservatives.”

Trump and Roberts have a relationship that Roberts describes carefully. “I do know President Trump personally. I don’t want to overstate how close we are, but since I became president of the Heritage Foundation, we’ve spoken several times. I know him and have been with him personally a few times. I know him to be genuine and warm and a good friend,” Roberts told WyoFile in a February 2024 interview.

Roberts is a go-to powerbroker in political circles, and Steve Bannon, in an interview conducted just before he headed to prison, told The New York Times that he could envision Roberts as Trump’s chief of staff.

Roberts “is somebody I rely on a lot who has very good advice, very good political instincts,” Ohio Senator and potential Trump vice-presidential nominee J.D. Vance told Notus in January. 

“My overall sense of Heritage, pre-Kevin Roberts, is that it was a relatively vanilla D.C. think tank that wrote policy papers, but it didn’t engage meaningfully in some of the big debates that were happening on the right or in the country, at least for the last 10 or so years,” Vance continued. “With Kevin, they’re participating in some of the fights that really matter on the right.”

As the 2024 election looms, Kevin Roberts continues to position himself and the Heritage Foundation as the intellectual engine of a resurgent conservative movement. With his upcoming book provocatively titled Dawn’s Early Light: Burning Down Washington to Save America (with a foreword penned by Vance), Roberts is making it clear that he’s not interested in business as usual, he’s looking for a fight that he views as a holy war to retake the United States which he sees as “on the brink of destruction.”

Dawn’s Early Light blazes a warpath for the American people to take back their country,” reads the book’s Amazon description. “Their decadence will be their downfall. A new day is here.”

Roberts is no stranger to battle language. As he told The Hungarian Conservative in 2022. “American conservatives need fighters — men and women who understand that we have a narrow window of opportunity to take our country back from the Radical Left. Their policies and approach must be, as I like to say, ‘on offense every day’.” 

In the introduction to Project 2025’s Mandate for Leadership, Roberts wrote: “The long march of cultural Marxism through our institutions has come to pass. The federal government is a behemoth, weaponized against American citizens and conservative values, with freedom and liberty under siege as never before.”

Fighting progressive ideology calls for “relentless spiritual warfare,” Roberts told the audience at an anti-abortion event in January 2024. “We are in a fight against evil itself.”

And on July 8, 2024, at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., Roberts railed against the “psychopaths of the French Revolution” and warned his audience about the “global Marxist theocracy” to come at the hands of progressives. 

Whether Kevin Roberts will succeed in reshaping American conservatism — and potentially the federal government itself  — remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: this “cowboy Catholic” from Louisiana is determined to leave his mark on the political landscape. 

As the nation hurtles towards another contentious election, all eyes will be on Roberts and his Project 2025 blueprint for a repressive, authoritarian conservative future, and that’s just the way he likes it.

Trump’s Project 2025 Song and Dance

In a recent statement on his social media platform, former President Donald Trump attempted to distance himself from Project 2025, the controversial initiative spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and written mainly by those who worked in the Trump White House. 

Trump claimed, “I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it.” He went on to express disagreement with some of the project’s ideas, calling them “ridiculous and abysmal.” 

Never mind that Trump’s own super PAC is running ads promoting Project 2025.

This ludicrous disavowal raises more questions than it answers, given the intricate web of connections between Trump’s inner circle and the project, as numerous media outlets have reported, including The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Despite Trump’s professed ignorance, the project is deeply intertwined with key figures from his past administration and current campaign.

First, take Trump’s previous interactions with the Heritage Foundation, Project 2025’s incubator, and its leader Kevin Roberts.

Earlier this year, as Meidas News reports, Trump twice thanked Roberts and Heritage by name, indicating a level of familiarity that seems at odds with his recent claims.

On Truth Social in January, Trump praised Roberts as “the highly respected president of the Heritage Foundation,” noting he was a “wonderful guest” on Fox & Friends. Trump urged Roberts to “keep going” and “get the word out!”

In February, during remarks to National Religious Broadcasters in Nashville, Trump personally praised Heritage’s work, and Roberts, from the stage:

“Heritage Foundation president, somebody else doing an unbelievable job. He’s bringing it back at levels it’s never seen. Dr. Kevin Roberts. Kevin, thank you, Kevin. Kevin, thank you, wherever you may be,” Trump fawned.

As Media Matters for America reported, “Trump gave the keynote address at the Heritage Foundation’s annual leadership conference on April 21, 2022, just a few months after Roberts took the reins of the organization. 

“He’s going to be so incredible,” Trump said of Roberts. “I know that for a fact, because I know what he did and where he came from, and he’s going to be outstanding, and congratulations to his very exciting new role and a very important role.”

Another notable link between Trump and Project 2025 is John McEntee, who joined Project 2025 in May 2023. McEntee, former presidential bag boy turned director of the White House Presidential Personnel office, is best known post-White House for his conservative dating site “The Right Stuff,” and offensive TikToks.

“McEntee joins a team that includes Project 2025 Associate Director Spencer Chretien, who was a special assistant to President Trump and associate director of presidential personnel, and James Bacon, a Project 2025 advisor and former special assistant to the president who served as PPO’s director of operations under Trump. Both worked for McEntee at the White House,” Heritage wrote in a May 2, 2023 press release announcing McEntee’s employment as a Project 2025 senior advisor.

McEntee has openly discussed “integrating” Project 2025’s work with the Trump campaign. The position he holds at Project 2025, vetting potential White House staffers, is very closely related to his work under Trump.

Troup Hemenway is also on Project 2025’s staff. Hemenway “oversaw presidential appointments in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, and the Intelligence Community,” in the Trump White House according to a Heritage press release. Hemenway was a 23-year-old undergrad when he was hired by McEntee, as was his colleague James Bacon. 

Stephen Miller, a longtime Trump adviser, appears in a video published to the Heritage Foundation’s YouTube channel on September 20, 2023, promoting Project 2025’s “Presidential Administration Academy.” 

While Miller downplayed this as merely “advice video for students” on social media, the presence of bound Project 2025 Mandate for Leadership books propping up a model of the White House on the table next to him suggests a deeper involvement. Furthermore, Miller’s organization, America First Legal, is part of  Project 2025’s advisory board.

Further blurring the lines between Project 2025 and Donald Trump’s agenda,  is the  Trump campaign’s national press secretary,  anti-trans, climate change denier Karoline Leavitt. 

Now 26, Leavitt began working in the Presidential Correspondence Office in 2019, later earning a promotion to assistant press secretary in the Trump administration. 

Rejoining her mentor, she became the national spokesperson for Trump’s Super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., in April 2023, Fox News reported. She became the national spokesperson for the Trump presidential campaign in January 2024, according to media reports

Leavitt also features in the same Project 2025 promotional video as Stephen Miller. “I appeared in a video for Heritage the year before I started working on the Trump campaign,” Leavitt told The Intercept on July 5, 2024, referring to the video posted to Project 2025’s YouTube channel just nine months prior.

This is not the first time the Trump campaign has attempted to create distance from Project 2025. In November, senior campaign staffers stated that “none of these groups or individuals speak for President Trump or his campaign.” However, this technical truth obscures the significant overlap in personnel and ideology between Trump’s orbit and the project.

Nearly all of the authors and editors also have direct ties to Trump. The following descriptions are from author bios included in the Mandate for Leadership’s 920 pages. These are the people, with irrefutable ties to the Trump White House, who literally wrote the book on Project 2025:

AUTHORS

Jonathan Berry “served as acting Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor.”

Adam Candeub “served as acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department during the Trump Administration.”

Dustin J. Carmack “served in the Intelligence Community as Chief of Staff to the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe.”

Brendan Carr “served as the Federal Communication Commission’s General Counsel.”

Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., MD, “served as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Ken Cuccinelli “served as Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2019 and then, from November 2019 through the end of the Trump Administration, as Acting Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Rick Dearborn “served as Deputy Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of five separate departments of the Executive Office of the President. He also served as Executive Director of the 2016 President-elect Donald Trump transition team.”

Diana Furchtgott-Roth “served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation.”

Thomas F. Gilman “served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Trump Administration.”

Mandy M. Gunasekara “served as the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.”

Gene Hamilton “served as Counselor to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice; Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security; General Counsel on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Assistant Chief Counsel at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Jennifer Hazelton “has worked as a senior strategic consultant for the Department of Defense in Industrial Base Policy and has held senior positions at USAID, the Export–Import Bank of the United States, and the State Department.”

Dennis Dean Kirk “served in senior positions at the Office of Personnel Management and was nominated by President Trump to be Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board.”

Bernard L. McNamee “was formerly a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.”

Christopher Miller “served in several positions during the Trump Administration, including as Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism, and Senior Director for Counterterrorism and Transnational Threats at the National Security Council.”

Mora Namdar “served as senior advisor for critical issues at the U.S. State Department and was appointed by President Donald Trump to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.”

Peter Navarro “was one of only three senior White House officials to serve with Donald Trump from the 2016 campaign to the end of the President’s first term. He was the West Wing’s chief China hawk and trade czar and served as Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator.”

William Perry Pendley was “leader of the Bureau of Land Management for President Donald Trump.”

Max Primorac “was acting Chief Operating Officer and Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Previously he was deputy director of Iraq’s reconstruction program at the U.S. Department of State and a senior adviser in the Office of the Secretary.”

Roger Severino was “director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2017 to 2021.”

Kiron K. Skinner  “served as Director of Policy Planning and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State from 2018 to 2019 and was a member of the Defense Business Board at the U.S. Department of Defense in 2020.”

Brooks D. Tucker “served in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs from 2017 to 2021 and as Acting Chief of Staff from 2020 to 2021. He helped to craft the policy framework for President-elect Trump’s transition team.”

Hans A. von Spakovsky “is a former member of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.”

Russ Vought “served in President Trump’s Cabinet as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

William L. Walton served in President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team as Agency Action Leader for all the federal economic agencies.”

Paul Winfree “was Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Director of Budget Policy at the White House. During the 2016 presidential transition, he led the team responsible for the Office of Management and Budget.”

EDITORS

Paul Dans “is Director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project at The Heritage Foundation, organizing policy and personnel recommendations and training for appointees in the next presidential Administration. Before joining Heritage, he served in the Trump Administration as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel as OPM’s White House liaison, and as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Steven Groves “served in the Trump Administration, first as Ambassador Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He later joined the White House as Assistant Special Counsel, representing the White House in the Mueller investigation. Groves also served as White House Deputy Press Secretary.” 

Trump’s recent attempts to distance himself from Project 2025 are at odds with the extensive connections between the project and his inner circle. The overlap between Trump’s orbit and Project 2025 extends beyond personnel to ideology and planning. 

Kevin Roberts takes this in stride and bears no hard feelings toward his old friend, he says. “If you’re running for president and you’re trying to win not just any campaign, but what we think at Heritage is the most significant campaign in modern American history, then it makes sense that politically you want to pivot from that,”  Roberts told Fox News host Will Cain on July 8, 2024. “There are no hard feelings from us at Project 2025 or Heritage about that. We love President Trump.”

1500 1000 Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
Start Typing
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

GPAHE uses cookies to collect information and give you a more personalized experience on our site. You can find more information in our Privacy Policy.
Get GPAHE’s latest updates on hate and extremism threatening our democracy.
Stay Connected With GPAHE
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Get GPAHE’s latest updates on hate and extremism threatening our democracy.
Stay Connected With GPAHE
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Stand With GPAHE In The Fight To Protect Democracy
Stay informed about the Project 2025 push for authoritarianism in the US. Get our in-depth insights on the extremist groups behind the plan and their activities.
You can unsubscribe at any time.
Subscribe
Stay informed about the Project 2025 push for authoritarianism in the US. Get our in-depth insights on the extremist groups behind the plan and their activities.
You can unsubscribe at any time.
Subscribe
Stand With GPAHE In The Fight To Protect Democracy