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Trump’s advisers want to simplify the Republican party program, according to a memo

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers are urging The official party platform of the Republican Party is to be significantly simplified and rationalized, according to a memo obtained by the Washington Post.

The authors of the memo, Trump campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, criticized the “textbook-length manifestos” that the party has been publishing for decades and which they believe should be free of “influences from special interests.” Since the party’s current manifesto is more than 60 pages long, the advisers stressed that it is the party’s “duty” to “ensure that our policy commitments to the American people are clear, concise and easily understood by every voter.”

Republicans have opted not to write a new platform in 2020, so much may need to be reworked in the coming weeks. This year, the GOP hopes to hammer out its platform during a closed session the week before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, which runs from July 15-18.

Meetings of the Platform Committee have been televised in the past. Holding a private meeting earlier would also reduce public attention to the process.

A person familiar with the planning, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal details, said that in recent years, lobbyists and interest groups at the convention have pushed the issues their clients wanted.

“Publishing an unnecessarily wordy treatise will further fuel the fire of disinformation and misrepresentation of voters by our adversary,” the memo said Thursday.

The New York Times had previously reported on the memo.

Although it is not yet clear what will be included in this year’s document, several parts of the most recent document, last adopted in 2016, contradict Trump’s current policy positions.

In 2016, as part of his Republican campaign platform, Trump advocated that abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy should be banned nationwide and called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect human life that would provide legal protection for the fetus.

Trump has stated that his position now is to let states, not the federal government, decide on any restrictions on the procedure following the Supreme Court decision striking down the constitutional right to abortion. Democrats have continued to attack Trump for appointing several of the justices who overturned the ruling. Roe v. Wade in 2022, This paved the way for near-complete bans in some states.

The 2016 document also said Republicans would not “accept any violently enforced territorial change in Eastern Europe,” even though Trump had indicated he would pressure Ukraine to give up territory to achieve peace after the Russian invasion in 2022.

The 2016 platform condemned the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and demanded that parents “determine the appropriate medical treatment and therapy for their minor children,” which was widely interpreted as a tacit endorsement of conversion therapy. But the language was worded in a way that also seems to deviate from Trump’s call to ban gender-affirming treatments for minors, even with parental support.

The process of developing the new party program is being led by lawyer Randy Evans, the former US ambassador to Luxembourg under Trump and executive director of the 2024 program committee; former Trump budget adviser Russell Vought, a self-proclaimed Christian nationalist who seeks a comprehensive expansion of presidential power in a second Trump administration; and Ed Martin, a well-known social conservative activist and president of the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, whose program includes, among other things, the rejection of feminist goals and the advocacy of traditional housewife roles.

Some social conservatives fear the party will make changes that will soften its official stance on issues such as abortion. Abortion opponents are demanding that the party recognize a role for the federal government on the abortion issue.

“It’s not the number of words that matters, but the intent,” said Kristi Hamrick, vice president of media and policy for the anti-abortion group Students for Life. “A strong statement that affirms the need to protect all Americans from conception to natural death through law and service, and that affirms Republican support for addressing the human rights issue of our time — abortion — at all levels of government, local, state and federal, is acceptable.”

Steve Deace, a conservative commentator from Iowa who supported Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary, said he “stopped arguing about the party platform a long time ago” because he felt it did not play a big role in practice.

“Trump is king. He has captured the party. … He can now do what kings do,” Deace added.

Charles Moran, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of LGBTQ+ Republicans and their allies, said in a recent interview that he hopes for a “more inclusive” platform than the one passed in 2016.

Moran argued that the language of the previous program was outdated on many issues and said he would “like” to see a slimmed-down program that was more like a “statement of faith.”

Some veterans of Republican politics said Saturday that the move to cut the program was politically smart.

“Maybe 15 people from each state will be interested in the platform, good for them. It will just become a document with messages from the Democrats anyway,” Rick Wiley, former political director of the Republican National Committee, wrote on social media.

Michael Scherer contributed to this report.

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