America First Policies
|Founded||January 27, 2017|
America First Policies is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, incorporated on January 27, 2017, to promote the policy agenda of the Donald Trump presidential campaign. On March 30, 2017, Katie Walsh, formerly White House Deputy Chief of Staff, left that position to join America First Policies. The organization has courted controversy, as one of its directors was forced to resign due to racist and inflammatory comments and another adviser was caught on video proclaiming support for the Nazis.
Trump Presidential Campaign donor Rebekah Mercer disagreed with Parscale about the direction of America First Policies. Mercer wanted America First Policies' data engine to be Cambridge Analytica, which would have effectively given her organizational control and potentially influence over the Republican Party. If Mercer had control over the organization's database and the money, Mercer could have led the organization to sway President's supporters against the President.
On June 23, 2017, Republican Senator Dean Heller was targeted with an advertising campaign over his opposition to the Obamacare repeal bill. Heller was considered to be vulnerable in the 2018 election, and ultimately lost to Democratic challenger Jackie Rosen.
Racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry
America First Policies' Director for Advocacy, Carl Higbie was forced to resign as head of Corporation for National and Community Service (an organization which runs AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, and other national service initiatives) to which he had been appointed by Donald Trump, after making racist and inflammatory comments on a radio talk show about black Americans, Muslims, women, LGBT people, veterans suffering from PTSD and immigrants, which included advocating violence. Higbie also pushed the false Birther conspiracy about Barack Obama. In a 2018 tweet, Higbie apologized for his comments.
On May 10, 2018, it became public that the group's policy advisor, Juan Pablo Andrade, was a Nazi sympathizer, who was recorded on snapchat saying that "the only thing the Nazis didn't get right was that they didn't keep fucking going." Andrade has been on Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, Trump’s National Diversity Coalition and the Trump campaign as a surrogate. He also wrote for The Hill, but the outlet dropped him when it learned of the video and its contents.
Later that month, it was reported that John Loudon, a policy advisor for the group, used inflammatory and derogatory language against women, Muslims and Democrats. He suggested that Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim.
In May 2018, CVS Health and Dow Chemical announced that they would not contribute more money to America First Policies, citing racist and bigoted comments by the staff at America First Policies. This announcement followed a report stating that three Fortune 500 companies, including CVS Health and Dow Chemical, had contributed to America First Policies.
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- CNN, Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie and Nathan McDermott,. "CVS Health and Dow Chemical will no longer donate to pro-Trump advocacy group". CNN. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
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- Kaczynski, Andrew (January 19, 2018). "Trump appointee resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio". CNN. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Rosenberg, Eli (January 18, 2018). "'I just don't like Muslim people': Trump appointee resigns after racist, sexist and anti-gay remarks". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- CNN, Andrew Kaczynski,. "Trump appointee resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio". CNN. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
- Ecarma, Caleb (May 10, 2018). "Policy Advisor For Trump-Tied 'America First' Group Praises Nazis: They Should've Kept 'Going'". Mediaite. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- Blest, Paul (May 10, 2018). "Advisor For Trump-Linked Nonprofit Thinks the Nazis Were Great". Splinter News. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Levine, Jon (May 10, 2018). "The Hill Drops Pro-Trump Contributor After Remarks About Nazis". TheWrap. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- McDermott, Nathan; Kaczynski, Andrew; Massie, Chris (May 21, 2018). "Policy adviser for Trump-linked group called Obama 'Islamchurian candidate,' joked about 'crack whore Dem voter'". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- Perez, Andrew (June 3, 2018). "Southern Co. Joins Dow, CVS in Cutting Off Support for Pro-Trump Dark Money Organization". MapLight. Retrieved July 5, 2018.