But now, Trump's former aides at the think tank hope their former boss will swoop into the summit and deliver a supremely uplifting keynote speech laying out a vision for a potential second term.
"His allies are eager for him to use the occasion to press pause on his grievances about 2020 and begin to lay out a game plan for 2024," writes Politico, adding, "Tuesday’s address represents a chance for Trump to demonstrate a focus on policy rather than score-settling."
What could go wrong?
“It’s an opportunity for President Trump to come to Washington and give a visionary speech about why the future would be better with his leadership — and to the degree he focuses on that it could be a very important speech,” said former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Oh, so a tutorial on how illiberal democracy and a slow frog-boiling creep toward fascism is America's wave of the future.
Brooke Rollins, Trump's former domestic policy adviser, billed the speech as a “State of the Union 5.0.”
Have none of them stopped to consider that Trump never accepted his loss and will likely sound like a deluded old man reliving the glory days that only he and his equally deluded supporters actually think were glorious?
Apparently the think tank's launch was partially rooted in the idea that "policy is actually a part of Trump’s brand" and that "a component of MAGA-ism was predicated on something beyond Trump himself." So, not a cult, but rather an ideology that grew out of a set of carefully considered policies.
C'mon, let's be real. AFPI has created a venue in which a bunch of Trump sycophants can lavish attention on Dear Leader in hopes of positioning themselves for the next Republican administration, whether it's let by Trump or not. But also jockeying for position are The Conservative Policy Institute and The Heritage Foundation
AFPI's entire roster is filled with a bunch of Trump hangers on looking forward to profiting on their next insider gig. The group's more than 150 employees include 17 former senior White House staffers, such as Trump's former domestic policy adviser Rollins, former economic adviser Larry Kudlow, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, and former Cabinet members like former Small Business Administrator Administrator Linda McMahon, former acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
Clearly jilted, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro went on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast Friday, calling the organization “a dumping ground and haven for a lot of the failed people from the first administration, the RINOs [Republicans in name only], and the disloyalists who let Trump down.”
A fairly apt description, but Hogan Gidley, Trump’s former deputy press secretary and the director of AFPI’s center on election integrity, had a decidedly sunnier view of the group.
“What we have are people who were in the room when President Trump made decisions. No one else has that,” Gidley said.
True—how many other people can say they presided over a home-grown terrorist attack on the U.S. seat of government from within the walls of the West Wing? It’s a pretty exclusive group.
While Republicans try to overturn elections and make it harder to vote, volunteer to help save democracy by encouraging people to cast their ballots. Click here to view hundreds of local and national Get Out the Vote opportunities on the Daily Kos Mobilize feed, and sign up to volunteer on a national campaign or one near you.