Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Former OMB director to set up Pro-Trump think tanks

Acting OMB Director Russ Vought participates in a photo-op
OMB Director Russ Vought parfticipates in a photo-op for the printing of President Donald Trumps budget for Fiscal Year 2020 at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Russ Vought, who led Donald Trump's Office of Management and Budget, plans to announce two pro-Trump organizations Tuesday, aiming to provide the ideological ammunition to sustain Trump's political movement after his departure from the White House.

Why it matters: The Center for American Restoration and an advocacy arm, America Restoration Action, will try to keep cultural issues that animated Trump’s presidency on the public agenda, according to people familiar with the matter.

What we're hearing: Vought is teaming up in the effort with Rachel Semmel, who ran communications for Trump's OMB, and Ashlea Frazier, his former chief of staff.

  • The Center for American Restoration will be organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and explore issues including voter fraud and the role of big technology and social media companies in disseminating information.
  • America Restoration Action will be set up as a 501(c)(4) "social welfare" group, with more of a focus on policy advocacy.

The big picture: The ideological direction of the GOP and the larger conservative movement in post-Trump America is yet to be determined.

  • With speculation rife about Trump’s post-presidency plans, some of his aides have distanced themselves from him and have condemned his comments to a group of protestors that later assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6.
  • But Vought is among those who are staying close to Trump. He's working to ensure that cultural issues that Trump ran on, from transgender rights to critical race theory, remain front and center in the Republican Party and coming elections.
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