Although former President Donald Trump is not personally religious, his close ties to Christian nationalists—whom he has relied on to gather support for his presidential campaigns—could place the United States on a path to embracing numerous far-right policies, according to documents penned by a leading right-wing think tank.

Politico, which obtained the documents, reported that staffers at the Center for Renewing America (CRA) included “Christian nationalism”—the promotion of the belief that the U.S. was founded as a Christian country and should emphasize “Christian values” in its policies—on a list of priorities for a second Trump term.

CRA’s president is Russell Vought, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Trump, who Politico reported believes his continued close ties to the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee “will elevate Christian nationalism as a focal point in a second Trump term.” The two speak at least once a month, the outlet reported.

Vought has been frequently named as a potential White House chief of staff should Trump win a second term, which could position him to carry out other proposals in the CRA document, including:

  • Invoking the Insurrection Act as soon as Trump takes office, allowing him to deploy the military to stop protests;
  • Impounding federal funds, or refusing to spend money appropriated by Congress, as former President Richard Nixon did to block agencies from taking on projects he opposed before Congress banned the practice; and
  • Creating other new ways to expand Trump’s presidential power.

Politico reported on the plans to “elevate Christian nationalism” as Trump prepares to address the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Association in Nashville on Thursday—the world’s largest association of Christian broadcasters.

Vought has been frequently named as a potential White House chief of staff should Trump win a second term.

Along with Vought, Politico reported that former Trump administration official William Wolfe is likely to significantly influence the White House should Trump win the election. A close associate of Vought’s, Wolfe served as deputy assistant secretary of defense and director of legislative affairs at the State Department under Trump.

As recently as December, Wolfe called for a Christian nationalist government in which sex education in schools would be abolished and gestational surrogacy and no-fault divorce would be banned.

Vought is also an adviser to Project 2025, led by the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation. The group aims to reshape the government by ousting federal employees who stand in the way of Trump’s agenda—deploying “a wrecking ball for the administrative state,” said Vought told The Associated Press last year.

The project goes hand-in-hand with the CRA’s Christian nationalist agenda, Politico reported, with plans to repeal policies that “support LGBTQ+ rights, subsidize ‘single-motherhood,’ and penalize marriage… because subjective notions of ‘gender identity’ threaten ‘Americans’ fundamental liberties.'”

Supporters of Project 2025 also aim to increase surveillance of abortion and maternal mortality reporting, require the Food and Drug Administration to revoke approval of drugs used for medication abortions, and protect employers who refuse to include contraceptive coverage in insurance plans.

Former New York state Sen. Anna Kaplan, a Democrat, said the proposals of Project 2025 and the CRA show that “reproductive rights in all 50 states are on the ballot in 2024.”

The Biden campaign said the new reporting laid bare “the dystopian reality if Trump is reelected: an America governed by religious extremism where Americans have fewer rights.”

The proposals of Trump’s allies are “straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale,” said Lauren Hitt, senior spokesperson for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. “Nationwide abortion bans, attacks on same-sex marriage, and restrictions on contraception—this is the horrifying reality being openly discussed by Team Trump and the likely architects of his second term agenda.”

“Every day Donald Trump openly supports an agenda of restricting Americans’ freedoms, dividing our country, and attacking our rights,” said Hitt. “That’s what he will do as president. It’s not who we are as Americans.”

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