It seems Ivanka Trump has followed her own 2020 advice to unemployed workers to “find something new.” Jobless since her father former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021, Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner now seem to have seamlessly passed from one advisory role in the White House to another for a policy-minded nonprofit that sounds an awful lot like the Donald Trump agenda with a slightly different name on it. And really, only slightly. The America First Policy Institute (slogan: American First, Always) is run by a set of former Trump administration officials, including advisers Ivanka and Kushner as reported by Axios, and will focus on key Trump talking points like Second Amendment rights, “energy independence,” and religious freedom (guess for whom). In other words, Ivanka and Kushner’s day to day agenda in terms of the legislation they’re interested in influencing may not have changed at all day to day — but the branding has. And it’s important that the public be clear on just how much of a Trump enterprise the AFPI really is.
Again per Axios reporting, AFPI is headed by former Trump administration officials Brooke Rollins (President and CEO), Linda McMahon (board chair), and Larry Kudlow (vice chair), with former Trump officials like Rick Perry, John Ratcliffe, and Keith Kellogg heading up individual departments. Their first-year budget is $20 million, with hopes to expand to $40 million in their second year, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have reportedly signed on as “informal advisers.”
We all knew Ivanka and Kushner wouldn’t be eager to shed their political power after leaving the White House, any more than Donald Trump himself has been. But AFPI is a reminder of how many political players still adhere to ideas that Trump put forth during his time in office, and how many are hoping to extend the values exemplified by the Trump family into America’s future. If AFPI tries to brand itself as a more measured proponent of the same ideas Trump has pushed all along in coming months, just remember that this is a ship steered by Kushner and Ivanka — and consider their political records before climbing aboard.