Trump think tank keeps America First agenda alive

Policy institute will push Trump agenda as Republicans decide which way to direct party

FILE - In this Thursday, June 18, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable with governors on the reopening of America's small businesses, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump insists he’s enjoying his life off Twitter. But since he was barred from major social media channels after helping incite the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, his power to shape the national conversation is being tested like never before.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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Former officials from the administration of former president Donald Trump on Tuesday launched a think tank to advance his policy agenda.

The non-profit America First Policy Institute reportedly has 40 staff and a $20 million first-year budget.

Plans for the institute, based in Arlington, Virginia, have been in the works since December.

A video released on Tuesday features its president and chief executive Brooke Rollins saying it will advance Mr Trump's policies and "continue the fight for the greatest country in the history of this world".

"The institute is launching to continue the transformative changes that happened over the last four years,” said Ms Rollins, a former Trump administration official.

She said the institute was focused on “returning power” to manufacturers, blue-collar workers, farmers and other everyday Americans.

The 96-second video features stirring music, promotional buzzwords and footage of American workers and families, but makes little mention of Trump-era policies.

“We know what the insider approach is," Ms Rollins said. "It’s failure. It’s the outsider approach that wins and we saw it first-hand."

Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband and former White House adviser Jared Kushner will be informal advisers for the institute, news site Axios reported.

Other Trump alumni involved include former energy secretary Rick Perry, former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe and Lt Gen Keith Kellogg, a former aide to vice president Mike Pence.

Mr Trump said the "patriots" staffing the institute were "some of the greatest champions for freedom, free enterprise, national greatness and the primacy of American workers".

"The freedom warriors at AFPI have my full support as they work not only to preserve the historic accomplishments of my administration, but also to propel the America First agenda into the future," he said.

Since Mr Trump lost last year's election and vacated the White House in January, Republicans have grappled over whether to pursue his anti-immigrant, populist policies or switch course.