|John C. Eastman, Charles R. Kesler, Ryan Williams|
(FYE June 2016)
The Claremont Institute is a conservative think tank based in Upland, California. The institute was founded in 1979 by four students of Harry V. Jaffa. The Institute publishes the Claremont Review of Books, as well as other books and publications.
The institute was an early defender of Donald Trump. After Joe Biden won the 2020 election and Donald Trump refused to concede while making false claims of fraud, Claremont Institute senior fellow John Eastman aided Trump in his failed attempts to overturn the election results.
The institute was founded in 1979 by four students of Straussian political theorist Harry V. Jaffa, a professor emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate University, although the Institute has no affiliation with any of the Claremont Colleges. Under Jaffa and Larry P. Arnn, the institute became a leading Straussian-influenced conservative think tank, publishing on topics such as statesmanship, Lincoln scholarship and modern conservative issues.[non-primary source needed]
Arnn served as its president from 1985 until 2000, when he became the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. Michael Pack was president from 2015 to 2017. Ryan Williams was named president in 2017.
The Claremont Institute publishes The Claremont Review of Books, The American Mind, The American Story Podcast and Claremont Books. The Washington, D.C., branch of the Claremont Institute, called the Center for the American Way of Life, opened in February 2021.
The Claremont Institute provides fellowships. Fellowships in the past have gone to prominent figures on the right such as Laura Ingraham, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin and Mary Kissel. The institute caused controversy by granting a fellowship in 2019 to the Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec. National Review columnist Mona Charen wrote that "Claremont stands out for beclowning itself with this embrace of the smarmy underside of American politics." In 2020, Slate magazine called the institute "a racist fever swamp with deep connections to the conspiratorial alt-right", citing Posobiec's fellowship and the publication of a 2020 essay by senior fellow John Eastman that questioned Kamala Harris' eligibility for the vice presidency.
Trump advocacy and connections
The institute was an early defender of Donald Trump. The Daily Beast stated Claremont has "arguably has done more than any other group to build a philosophical case for Trump’s brand of conservatism."
In September 2016 the institute's Claremont Review of Books published Michael Anton's "The Flight 93 Election" editorial. The editorial, written under a pseudonym, compared the prospect of conservatives letting Trump lose to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election with passengers not charging the cockpit of the United Airlines aircraft hijacked by Al-Qaeda. The article went viral and received widespread coverage across the political spectrum. Rush Limbaugh devoted a day of his radio series to reading the entire essay. Anton would go on to serve under President Trump as spokesman for the National Security Council, holding the position from 2017 to 2018.
In 2019, Trump awarded the Claremont Institute with a National Humanities Medal. In June 2020, former Claremont Institute president Michael Pack became head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) under Trump.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the institute received between $350,000 and $1 million in federally backed small business loans from Chain Bridge Bank as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The institute stated this would allow it to retain 29 jobs.
With Trump and his advisors, Eastman made a failed attempt in the first days of January 2021 to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, and he spoke at Trump's rally on January 6, 2021, before the attack on the Capitol. The details of Eastman's attempt, described in a book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, made national headlines in September 2021. Shortly afterward, the American Political Science Association canceled panels involving Eastman and Claremont at its 2021 conference.
In 2021, Claremont senior fellow Glenn Ellmers wrote a controversial essay in Claremont's The American Mind arguing that the United States had been destroyed by internal enemies and that "Most people living in the United States today — certainly more than half — are not Americans in any meaningful sense of the term."
The Claremont Institute publishes the Claremont Review of Books. The CRB is edited by Charles R. Kesler and features regular columns by Martha Bayles and Mark Helprin. The Institute also publishes The American Mind. Claremont Vice President of Education Matt Peterson serves as editor; and James Poulos is executive editor. The publication has featured essays by Newt Gingrich, Sen. Todd Young, Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Jim Banks, and Sen. Tom Cotton.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2021)
- Ryan Williams (President of the Institute)
- Douglas Bechler (Senior VP/Chief Development Officer)
- Bob Gransden (Chief Financial Officer)
- Charles Kesler (Editor of the Claremont Review of Books)
- John Eastman (Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence)
- Matthew Peterson (Founding Editor of The American Mind, VP of Education)
- David Bahr (Senior Director of Communications and Marketing)
- Christine Barton (VP of Development)
- Arthur Milikh (Executive Director of Center for the American Way of Life)
- James Poulos (Executive Editor of The American Mind)
- Seth Barron (Managing Editor of The American Mind)
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