- America First group lays groundwork as Trump weighs 2024 run
- Nonprofit also developing policy for Republican-led Congress
A group of Donald Trump’s former aides is preparing a turnkey administration for his return to the White House, as the embattled former president hints that he’s preparing to make a third run for the nation’s highest office.
America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit led by former Trump cabinet member and World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon, has essentially assembled a shadow government for Trump — or, potentially, any other Republican who takes the White House from Democrats in 2024.
The organization, based a short walk from the White House, is also developing policy proposals for an expected Republican-controlled House in November. The administration-in-waiting includes potential cabinet members, senior White House officials and even political appointees at federal agencies.
Trump is scheduled to headline an America First summit in Washington on July 26, his first return to the capital since he departed for Florida the morning of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The former president has repeatedly suggested that he’s planning another run for the White House, even as polls show Republican voters are increasingly agitating for a new standard-bearer.
He could announce another White House run at any moment, according to people familiar with discussions among his team. There are two conflicting patterns of thought among those in his orbit.
Some favor an immediate announcement, to put down a marker against potential rivals, including Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Announcing his candidacy might also draw attention from damaging revelations emerging from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection Trump instigated at the US Capitol.
But others want to hold off on a formal announcement, allowing Trump to continue to raise money largely unfettered by federal regulations, hold rallies and defer staffing decisions necessitated by a full campaign.