Trump advisers start 'America First Policies' nonprofit
By JULIE BYKOWICZ
Jan. 30, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — Six of President Donald Trump's top campaign aides have banded together to start a nonprofit called "America First Policies" to back the White House agenda.
The group includes Trump's digital and data director Brad Parscale, onetime deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and two campaign advisers to Vice President Mike Pence, Nick Ayers and Marty Obst.
David Bossie, another Trump deputy campaign manager, and Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser on the campaign communications team, also will be involved, according to a statement announcing the group.
"Some of the same like-minded individuals who put their energy into getting Mr. Trump elected are now going to be part of a grassroots group to go out there and help with the agenda, help the White House be successful," Parscale said.
The large — and so far unnamed — group of founders is aimed at quelling reports of dissention among campaign advisers who did not go into the White House. Republican donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who finance a data research shop called Cambridge Analytica, have been mulling starting a separate nonprofit.
Ayers and Bossie have close ties to the Mercers.
Parscale said the group aims to "build something unique, just like we did with the campaign."
America First Policies will conduct research into public policies and promote Trump's favored causes, such as dismantling and replacing President Barack Obama's health care law and changing immigration policies.
One of its first tasks is likely to be advocacy for Trump's Supreme Court nominee, whom the president said he would announce Tuesday night. The group doesn't have yet have a public website, but its founders said to expect digital and television advertising around issues.
"This goes beyond Trump supporters," Gates said. "We're trying to capture all people who believe in the Trump agenda."
Obama also started a nonprofit group, called Organizing for Action, to back his policies. Some Democrats say that group undercut the Democratic Party by siphoning away donors and keeping separate Obama's contact list for millions of his supporters.
Many of the details of the new Trump-themed initiative have yet to be finalized.
Nonprofits do not legally have to disclose their donors, although Obama's group did so voluntarily on a quarterly basis. There's no word yet on whether America First Policies will do that.
Obama's nonprofit inherited supporter lists from his campaign; the America First Policy founders say they're still assessing what they can lease or obtain from the Trump campaign.
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