Trump Attempts to Distance Campaign From Porn-Criminalizing 'Project 2025'

Trump Attempts to Distance Campaign From Porn-Criminalizing 'Project 2025'

WASHINGTON — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Friday, attempted to distance himself from the conservative initiative Project 2025, which prominently includes a call to criminalize the production and distribution of pornography.

“I know nothing about Project 2025,” Trump wrote. “I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

As XBIZ reported, Project 2025 is spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and many of its leaders are former Trump staffers.

Last month, Free Speech Coalition (FSC) warned the adult industry and sex workers about Project 2025, calling it “an aggressive and dangerous right-wing policy proposal that could have severe implications for our industry and community.”

Although Trump did not explain why he issued his partial condemnation of some Project 2025’s ideas, political commentators have linked the rebuke — unusual for the candidate — to a recent interview in which Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts claimed the U.S. is currently in the middle of a “second American revolution” that will only be bloodless “if the left allows it to be.”

Roberts is one of the principal ideologues behind Project 2025. Besides criminalizing the entire adult industry, the initiative pitches “a sweeping overhaul of the federal government should Trump win a second term, including far more power for the executive branch,” the Washington Post reported, adding that “many people involved in the effort are former Trump administration officials, and Trump publicly allied himself with the think tank as president.”

Given Trump’s massively documented history of stating outright, easily debunked falsehoods, his unlikely allegation that he has “no idea who is behind” Project 2025 surprised few commentators.

Also notable was the former president’s vagueness about exactly which of Project 2025’s 900-plus pages of proposals he disagrees with.

Sex Workers Once Again the Proverbial Canaries in the Coal Mine

Sex workers, members of the adult industry and XBIZ have been warning about Project 2025’s sweeping censorship proposals since August of last year, when Dame magazine’s Brynn Tannehill first reported on Project 2025’s “Mandate for Leadership” blueprint.

The relevant excerpt Tannehill quoted from the introduction to the conservative policy road map reads, “Pornography, manifested today in the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children, for instance, is not a political Gordian knot inextricably binding up disparate claims about free speech, property rights, sexual liberation, and child welfare. It has no claim to First Amendment protection. Its purveyors are child predators and misogynistic exploiters of women. Their product is as addictive as any illicit drug and as psychologically destructive as any crime. Pornography should be outlawed. The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.”

The Washington Post published an article in November stating that much of the planning for a second Trump term “has been unofficially outsourced to a partnership of right-wing think tanks in Washington. Dubbed ‘Project 2025,’ the group is developing a plan, to include draft executive orders, that would deploy the military domestically under the Insurrection Act,” according to a person involved in those conversations and internal communications reviewed by the paper.

This week, the Project 2025 account posted on X, “As we’ve been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign,” adding that “it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement.”

An Extremist Project Explicitly Linked With a Potential 2025 Trump Transition

Despite Trump’s social media effort to distance himself from Project 2025, there is extensive documented evidence that the Heritage Foundation and the initiative’s leaders have explicitly been working to staff a possible second Trump administration.

In December, Project 2025’s director Paul Dans gave an extensive interview to far-right YouTuber Jenny Beth of the Tea Party Patriots organization, one of the Heritage Foundation’s conservative partners on the controversial project.

Beth told her viewers that Project 2025 was “a presidential transition project to help usher in conservative Americans into the new presidential administration in 2025,” adding that Dans served as chief of staff for the Office of Personnel Management in the first Trump administration.

Dans thanked Beth for “joining forces to prepare for day one of the next Administration which will be a conservative one on January 20, 2025.”

“What we’re really doing,” Dans added, “is coming together as an entire conservative movement to be ready to go to work with the right people and the right policies on day one so this takes a lot of pre-preparation and planning. We have to recruit the talent to get to Washington. That’s what’s been critically missing for many years and, even when we got president Trump in there [in 2016] and we got some hope for change, the reality is that he can only do so much. It’s really the entire team underneath him that needs to make things happen so ultimately what project 2025 is is a call to action for patriots to come serve in Washington.”

Dans added, “It is going to take really an army of people coming up to Washington to serve” in a possible second Trump administration. He also explicitly linked the former Trump administration with a possible second Trump administration, through Project 2025 staffers.

Trump, Dans told Beth, got staffing wrong in 2016, but “he got it right at the end with a guy named John McEntee, a colleague of mine who I now work with on Project 2025. John was assistant to the president, had worked with President Trump since 2015 and the campaign, and he really understood what our entire movement’s about and the agenda and getting the right personnel in place, so the president put John in charge of personnel in February 2020, and people like me — I had been at HUD — John tapped me to go be chief of staff — well, first White House liaison, but then ultimately chief of at OPM — and OPM, like I said, that’s the HR component of the White House and the federal government.”

As XBIZ reported, in May, McEntee predicted an eventual full ban on pornography, claiming that once it is enacted, “this country will flourish.”

McEntee made the statements during an interview with right-wing broadcaster Michael Knowles, where the Project 2025 senior advisor was promoting The Right Stuff, a “conservative dating app” he founded.

While discussing the topic of conservative men dating, Knowles brought up adult content.

“You bring up the elephant in the room, which is a stain on not only society but the entire dating culture as well — which is pornography,” McEntee proclaimed. “Whenever America bans that, which will be happening at some point, everyone will be much better off.

“The minute that goes away, this country will flourish,” McEntee added.

Also in May, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts told CNN that Donald Trump’s notorious interactions with porn stars do not disqualify the presumptive Republican nominee from implementing the conservative organization’s plan to criminalize all production and distribution of adult content.

“We understand our Lord works with imperfect instruments, including us,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts told CNN. “While on the surface it seems like a contradiction, on the whole, it may make him a more powerful messenger if he embraces it.”

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