Aug 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump fundraises off of civil service purge

Trump surrounded by money
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Former President Trump's political operation is fundraising off of his plan to radically remake the federal workforce.

Why it matters: Fundraising appeals invoking the plan on Thursday indicate the Trump team sees it as a potent messaging device for its grassroots supporters.

Driving the news: Trump's fundraising emails on Thursday pegged his nascent plans to gut employment protections for tens of thousands of federal employees to his longtime "Drain the Swamp" slogan.

  • "I need YOU to bolster our Official Drain the Swamp Fund," the emails pleaded, asking for $45 contributions to Trump's Save America fundraising committee.

The big picture: Trump's plan would revive a category of federal employment dubbed Schedule F.

  • Reserved for officials in policymaking and national security roles, it would allow a future Trump White House to fire federal workers en masse and replace them with people perceived as more loyal to Trump and his policy agenda.
  • "As your President, I implemented Schedule F so that Presidents could have the ability to FIRE federal employees who were BYPASSING democracy for their own benefit," Trump's political team wrote in the fundraising email on Thursday.

What they're saying: “President Trump campaigned on draining the swamp of the corrupt special interests and do nothing bureaucrats," spokesperson Taylor Budowich told Axios in a text message.

  • "Joe Biden and the Democrats have worked to restore big government and it’s one of the reasons voters are so ready to throw them out of office in November.”

Between the lines: Conservatives have long harbored suspicions about politically hostile federal employees.

  • Trump's administration supercharged those suspicions with allegations of a sprawling "deep state" impeding his agenda.
  • Supporters have cheered his Schedule F proposal as a way to quickly and comprehensively purge the federal workforce of ostensibly disloyal civil servants.
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