Project 2025 May 14th Update

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Project 2025 is a 920-page plan, spearheaded by the powerful and extreme far-right Heritage Foundation. This blueprint for autocracy is supported by more than 100 organizations. 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 look at Project 2025 senior advisor John McEntee who spreads hate and Christian Nationalist snark on his dating app’s TikTok page. We’ll also examine a new coalition of Christian Nationalists working to enact Project 2025’s mandate in parts of Texas, and Project 2025’s plans to execute 44 federal death row inmates in 180 days.

Project 2025 senior advisor and former White House Presidential Personnel Office director John McEntee uses TikTok to further the Christian Nationalist agenda

Former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration and current senior advisor to Project 2025 in charge of the organization’s personnel database, John McEntee, 34, made headlines on May 13, 2024, after posting a video to TikTok in which he talks about giving homeless people counterfeit money so when they use it, they can be arrested. 

“So I always keep this fake Hollywood money in my car so when a homeless person asks for money, then I give him like a fake $5 bill, so I feel good about myself, they feel good,” McEntee told the camera while sitting in his car and displaying a stack of bills.

“And then, when they go to use it, they get arrested so I’m actually like helping clean up the community. You know, getting them off the street.”

Distributing counterfeit currency is, of course, illegal, and McEntee’s post, which states “Just a joke. Everyone calm down,” is hardly the most shocking example of ugly rhetoric from a Trump insider. 

McEntee consistently promotes Project 2025’s messaging in the guise of trolling liberals on the internet but quietly wields immense power within the Project 2025 organization. His messages, railing against LGBTQ+ rights, abortion, the results of the 2020 election, immigration, and anti-white racism, are couched in humor. Still, their intent is deadly serious, as is the likelihood he’ll return to the White House in a position of immense power.

Johnny “Trickshot” McEntee is no stranger to viral videos. His first taste of fame came when the former University of Connecticut quarterback shot a trick football video in 2011, in which he threw footballs at a variety of targets that CNN and other national media outlets picked up and promoted.  

How he made his way to the White House is also somewhat of a trick shot, which by McEntee’s own account amounted to persistence rather than a  skillset. He went from a campaign volunteer to carrying the president’s bags to directing the Office of Personnel, propelled exclusively by his undying loyalty. 

“When Donald Trump announced that famous escalator speech, you know, I was like inspired. I, it was just like the perfect moment I had been reading, I’d been thinking, I was like, this is it. I was like, I gotta work for this guy. You know? So I just quit my job and showed up to work for Trump,” he said on the Diving Deep Podcast on May 1, 2024

“So I started in July of 2015. I did a lot of different jobs on the campaign until June of 2016, the election year. Then I got promoted to be a travel aide. So I traveled with the candidate everywhere he went, every rally in 2016. Every single stop he made from June until the election in November, for five or six months. Then that kind of morphed into a position in the White House where I was his personal aid. And then I did that the first year of the administration and the last year of the administration.”

What McEntee failed to tell his hosts was that that little break from the administration happened when he was fired and escorted out of the White House.

As the Atlantic wrote in a 2021 profile of McEntee, “In March 2018, it looked for a moment like his Washington career was over. He was fired from his job as Trump’s “body man” by then–Chief of Staff John Kelly after a long-delayed FBI background check revealed that he had deposited suspiciously large sums of money into his bank account. It turned out that the money was from gambling winnings. After Kelly himself was fired, McEntee returned to his old spot outside the Oval.”

McEntee was brought back in 2020 and promoted to director of the Presidential Personnel Office. The Atlantic quotes an unnamed  high-profile cabinet secretary describing McEntee, then 29, as “a fucking idiot.”

McEntee transformed the personnel office into a force that obsessively monitored administration officials for disloyalty to Trump. His team interrogated officials across agencies, scouring their social media and voting records for any signs of dissent, such as liking Taylor Swift

McEntee stocked his office with young, inexperienced Trump loyalists, including Instagram influencers with no professional background. He empowered them to bully senior officials and decapitate leadership at agencies like the Pentagon after the 2020 election, the Atlantic details.

McEntee turned into an influencer post-White House, and he’s pushing Project 2025’s agenda to millions of young conservatives who see him as more of a bro than a political power broker. 

Backed by billionaire PayPal founder and right-wing power player Peter Thiel, McEntee launched a conservative dating app called “The Right Stuff” in September 2022, before signing on to the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 on May 2, 2023.

In addition to running the dating app, he’s a senior advisor in charge of  Project 2025’s personnel database, which it likens to a conservative “Linked In,” to assemble “thousands of properly vetted and trained personnel from across the country who will be ready on January 20, 2025, to begin dismantling our unaccountable fourth branch of government, the administrative state.”

Still, his day job with the Heritage Foundation, where he focuses on staffing the White House with people like himself, leaves him time to post daily videos to the dating site’s TikTok account that further Project 2025’s agenda. (Heritage, incidentally, has maintained a firm anti-TikTok stance, viewing the app as a means for China to spy on US citizens.)

McEntee’s 2.3 million followers on his @daterightstuff account tune in to watch him eat burgers or ice cream and offer up snarky conservative soundbites. It’s a schtick that works to further his message, which is less about dating than promoting Project 2025 and his ideas about anti-white racism.

On slavery, McEntee had this to say on May 12, 2024. “I’m just gonna ask this one more time. Why do we only judge white people for owning slaves when every culture had them?” he asks the camera before biting into a burger.

In a clip posted the same day, he contemplates an ice cream sundae while telling the camera “Mother’s Day is for moms, not men in dresses,” just one of many attacks on the LGBTQ+ community that McEntee makes with provocative attempts at humor.

McEntee’s influencer role is just a placeholder, however. He’s fully planning on a return to the White House in 2025, and recently assured viewers of the Michael Knowles podcast that a ban on pornography is imminent. 

The prohibition is part of Project 2025’s mandate, which states “pornography should be outlawed. The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.”

“You bring up the elephant in the room,” McEntee told Knowles, “which is a stain on not only society but the entire dating culture as well, which is pornography. Whenever America bans that, which will be happening at some point, everyone will be much better off.”

On the same show, he also stated that he’s rethinking the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. 

Perhaps rescinding women’s rights, like distributing counterfeit money to homeless people, is just another of McEntee’s “jokes,” but one on which he could also be deadly serious given Project 2025’s authoritarian agenda.

The Christian Nationalist fight for Texas continues

The goals of Project 2025 are being implemented across the country, well ahead of the election and regardless of the installation of a new administration. 

In concert with the efforts of Patriot Mobile, a conservative cell phone platform supporting several Project 2025 organizations in Tarrant County, Texas, there’s a new coalition of powerful conservative Christian groups that has united with a similar goal — to infuse right-wing Christian values into public policy and education. 

Known as the Remnant Alliance, this formidable force, including Project 2025 member Turning Point USA, is mobilizing pastors and congregants to become grassroots activists, with school board elections being a top priority, Steven Monacelli of the Texas Observer reports.

“We are a team of ministries and faith-based organizations who are committed to providing a clear path for pastors and churches to move into active engagement with culture for the purpose of bringing God’s moral values, once again, as the foundation of America’s success, while also opposing evil in our land,” Remnant Alliance’s website reads.

The alliance operates like a well-oiled machine. Local pastors are first trained to adopt a “Biblical Worldview” through programs like Liberty Pastors. They then begin preaching this ideology from the pulpit, aided by pre-prepared notes. Next, congregants undergo “Biblical Citizenship” and “Constitutional Defense” training via the Patriot Academy. Pastors form “Salt and Light” ministries within their churches, and entire congregations are then galvanized to “extend the Kingdom of God” by voting for candidates who champion “Biblical values.”

Some are proponents of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” which declares that conservative Christians should have dominion over government, business, entertainment, media, education, family and religion and that such control is biblically mandated.

At its core, the Remnant Alliance embraces Christian Nationalism framed as “spiritual warfare” against satanic evil forces who they believe are intent on corrupting children through gender ideology and promoting an LGBTQ+ agenda.

The alliance’s collective influence is staggering. It encompasses thousands of churches and hundreds of thousands of activists across nine influential groups, including Citizens Defending Freedom (described as  “Moms for Liberty in Suits”), Project 2025 advisory board member Turning Point USA, and anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Liberty Counsel. Several prominent leaders, like Pastor Rick Scarborough, are members of the elite Council for National Policy — a secretive hub coordinating long-term strategies with wealthy donors and operatives.

Rallying cries against “smut” and “grooming” by “trans perverts” are commonplace at Remnant Alliance gatherings, the Texas Observer notes. At a November 29, 2023, event, top Republican officials shared the stage with alliance affiliates, including the Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Roberts. “One goal of the event was to raise money for Llano County to fight a lawsuit brought against county officials that stemmed from the removal of 17 books from the public library, including one for teens that calls the Ku Klux Klan a terrorist group and another that describes racism in the United States as an aspect of a caste system,” the Observer reported.

For the Remnant Alliance and other Christian Nationalist organizations, the battle for control of the United States is equivalent to a Holy War. “On one side are the forces of evil led by Lucifer himself. On the other is Almighty God with His forces of truth and light. This battle is not just played out in individual lives, but also in the governance of our land which either promotes God’s soul saving kingdom or opposes it,” Remnant Alliance declares on their website. “In fact, the evil we are witnessing in our streets and government today is not some short-term political movement, but rather a manifestation of this very conflict that won’t end until we meet our Lord face-to-face.”

For Project 2025 supporters, wresting control of local governments, including school boards, is simply one of the first skirmishes in a battle to create an American theocracy.

Project 2025: It’s all in the execution

Project 2025’s chilling mandate to execute federal death row inmates within the first 180 days of the next presidential administration has made headlines recently.

Nestled on page 554 of their manifesto lies a dire directive that could turn the wheels of the federal killing machine into overdrive. The proposal, authored by Gene Hamilton, a former Trump administration official and vice president of Project 2025 member America First Legal, calls for the next conservative administration to put some 44 federal inmates to death. Quickly.

“Enforce the death penalty where appropriate and applicable. Capital punishment is a sensitive matter, as it should be, but the current crime wave makes deterrence vital at the federal, state, and local levels. However, providing this punishment without ever enforcing it provides justice neither for the victims’ families nor for the defendant,”  Project 2025’s Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise reads. 

“The next conservative administration should therefore do everything possible to obtain finality for the 44 prisoners currently on federal death row. It should also pursue the death penalty for applicable crimes — particularly heinous crimes involving violence and sexual abuse of children — until Congress says otherwise through legislation.”

This radical expansion of capital punishment would violate Kennedy v. Louisiana, which upheld the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause with the Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty cannot be imposed for a crime in which the victim did not die.

The implications of such a policy shift are nothing short of seismic. If implemented, it could shatter decades of jurisprudence that have confined the use of the federal death penalty primarily to homicide cases involving the “worst of the worst” offenders. Extending capital punishment to nonhomicide crimes would constitute a profound upheaval of longstanding legal precedents.

Remarkably, this audacious proposal comes on the heels of an already unprecedented execution spree during the waning months of the previous administration. In a stark departure from the 17-year de facto moratorium on federal executions, 13 inmates were put to death in 2020 alone — the highest annual toll since 1896.

The Trump administration also dramatically expanded the federal government’s ability to carry out the death penalty by issuing a rule allowing it to hang, electrocute, gas, or shoot individuals it did not want to kill by lethal injection,” Slate reports.

While the current administration has reinstated a formal execution moratorium and launched a comprehensive review of execution policies, Project 2025’s blueprint serves as a grim reminder of the potential for a drastic reversal should its proponents gain a foothold in the halls of power.

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