Trump Team Tries Harder And Harder To Hide What They Will Actually Do During Trump 2.0

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 27: A banner reading "Donald Trump: ban abortion, punish women" flies over a campaign event with former U.S. President Donald Trump at Big League Dreams Las Vegas on January 27, 2024 in La... LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 27: A banner reading "Donald Trump: ban abortion, punish women" flies over a campaign event with former U.S. President Donald Trump at Big League Dreams Las Vegas on January 27, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trump is campaigning in Nevada ahead of the state’s Republican presidential caucuses on February 8. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Amid the chaos of the will-they, won’t-they storyline that has seized the Democratic Party in the wake of President Biden’s abysmal debate performance, team Trump has slipped into the quieter moments of the media maelstrom, trying to paint their agenda as much more moderate than it actually is.

Take, for instance, Donald Trump’s recent Truth Social post, posturing ignorance around Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s detailed plan, penned by Trump loyalists, for a second Trump administration that involves dismantling the federal government and rebuilding it on a new, far-right foundation, including a professed embrace of Christian nationalism. Even the very extremists in his past administration who have had a direct hand in writing some of the Project 2025 platform, like Stephen Miller, are trying to distance themselves from the agenda that the Heritage Foundation has described as a volley in a modern-day Revolutionary War.

Hiding all of that might, in theory, be harder to do once the Republican National Convention is in full swing next week — which is part of why, it appears, the Trump campaign is working overtime to paper over those extremist plans with a thick layer of moderate-sounding sentences.

Last week there were reports that the Trump campaign had booted two anti-abortion activists from the GOP’s platform committee, which is meeting this week to vote on policy planks ahead of next week’s convention. It was an early sign that Trump and his team were going to continue to try to hide the ball and appear as though the party was moderating on abortion — despite the fact that national abortion bans and emblazoning fetal personhood ideology in the Constitution have been pillars of the Republican platform for decades.

The Washington Post reported today that the 2024 Republican convention platform committee quickly adopted a plank of what will be the party’s overall agenda that on first glance appeared to drop the party’s longtime push to enshrine constitutional rights for embryos and fetuses in the Constitution.

“We proudly stand for families and Life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process, and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights,” the document reads. “After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People. We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

But, as friend of TPM Sarah Posner pointed out today, the language used in the abortion plank is pretty ambiguous — Christian activists would be well within their rights to read it as actually calling for states to protect the “due process” of fetuses in a perhaps intentionally subtle nod at the fetal personhood ideology that the Republican Party has long supported, that has led many states to ban abortion, and that even, in one case, required hospitals to stop offering IVF treatments.

The attempts to hoodwink the undecided voter will likely continue ahead of and throughout the RNC next week.

The Best Of TPM Today

What An Utterly Surreal Week In American Politics — David Kurtz

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Wow, Now France — Josh Marshall

What We Are Reading

What happens to the Georgia election interference case if Trump wins the White House? — AJC

Official Kristi Noem social media accounts appear to have been deleted — The Guardian

“Some folks need killing!”: It’s time to take MAGA threats of violence literally and seriously — Salon

Latest Where Things Stand

Notable Replies

  1. Northern quoll, species of Australian marsupial “cat:”

    I have no idea of how to hold the reactionaries’ feet to the fire about their radical policies (or their candidate’s complete unsuitability for the job) while the dominant media are, to varying degrees, complicit in their cover up. (ed.)
    ETA: my association is to the run up to the Iraq war – really, pretty disturbing.

  2. I heard a report on NPR today on the GOP platform. The reporter went out of his way to highlight the absence of a national abortion ban from the platform, and to emphasize Trump’s stated wish to “send it back to the states.”

    What a relief. Because Donald Trump would never lie about a thing like that. He doesn’t lie. Does he? Oh, he does? Well, not so much that it’s worth mentioning the possibility. We can safely assume that, right?

    Supposedly high-status national journalism is making the '62 Mets (W40 L120) look like world-beaters.

    “Can’t anybody here play this game.” Sadly, no.

  3. Judith Miller - NYTimes Judith MIller - NYTimes Judith Miller - NYTimes

    That’s what flashes in my brain when I think of the run-up to the Iraq war.

  4. Me too. I’m recalling that feeling that the national media had lost its mind, and how much of a relief it was to turn to TPM and other blogs where sane people continued to point out obvious facts. I’m feeling a lot of gratitude to TPM in regard to that growing differential. But honestly, I wish I wasn’t.

  5. We all need to memorize the key egregious parts of the 2025 Project and start informing everyone we come in contact with about the true goals of donnie2.0

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