Who Is In Charge Of Crafting Trump's 'Dream Team' For A Second Term? Drum Roll Please...

By Lisa Pelgin | Friday, 26 April 2024 08:30 PM
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Image Credit : Photo by John Smith for The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, the adult sons of former President Donald Trump, are reportedly taking a leading role in the selection of potential candidates for a prospective second Trump administration.

This comes in anticipation of their father's triumph over Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election in November, as per Axios.

While the Trump brothers are not in charge of the transition team, a role held by Susie Wiles, the Trump campaign's senior adviser, they are said to be spearheading the ideological vetting of potential officials and staff. Their aim is to secure a higher level of loyalty than their father experienced during his tumultuous first term in the White House from 2017 to 2021.

Donald Trump Jr, in particular, is reportedly committed to excluding individuals like John Bolton from a potential second Trump administration. Bolton, the former national security adviser, has become a vocal critic since his dismissal in September 2019. "The mission is to keep the John Boltons of the world outside a second Trump administration," an insider told Axios.

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The Trump campaign has been contacted by The Independent for further clarification on the exact roles the Trump brothers are playing within the transition team.

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The first Trump cabinet included figures such as Bolton, John Kelly, the first White House chief of staff, and defense secretary Jim Mattis. These individuals believed they could temper Trump's more extreme tendencies, a belief that often proved overly optimistic and led to quick exits.

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The former president is reportedly eager to avoid such strategic errors in the event of a second term. He hopes to return to the Oval Office with a government more closely aligned with his own views, devoid of moderate establishment Republicans who might oppose aspects of his agenda.

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Axios reports that Trump has grown frustrated with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation think tank. The think tank claims to be "leading the charge on scrutinising the backgrounds of possible appointees," but their "Project 2025" policy papers have been used to criticize his campaign.

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In response to such attacks, Wiles and fellow Trump adviser Chris LaCivita issued a statement last November. They insisted that "any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions. Policy recommendations from external allies are just that – recommendations".

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Unlike their sister Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, the Trump brothers played a minor role in their father's first administration. They were entrusted with the Trump Organization in New York. However, they became prominent figures in right-wing media, often defending their father against criticism and mocking his political adversaries.

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Donald Trump Jr was involved in shaping his father's Interior Department eight years ago due to his interest in outdoor sports. He told The New York Post last month that he plans to be "very active" in a second Trump transition team to ensure "we stop some of the DC swamp rats and the swamp creatures from getting in there and doing their thing".

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He also revealed that he has been trying to influence his father's choice of running mate, favoring "fighters" like Ohio senator JD Vance, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and conservative media favorite Tucker Carlson over the likes of Kristi Noem, Tim Scott, and Elise Stefanik.

The decision to involve Don Jr and Eric Trump in the political aspect of their father's interests reflects his recent move to replace Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican National Committee. McDaniel was replaced by Michael Whatley and Lara Trump, Eric's wife, in a move seen as ensuring the institution and its resources are more directly under his control.

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