Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Trump | transition | Heritage Foundation | resource

Heritage Foundation Denies 'Fingerprints' in Trump Transition

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By    |   Wednesday, 07 Dec 2016 03:24 PM

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint denied reports of his organization's influence in President-elect Donald Trump's transition efforts, saying Wednesday it does not work in that manner.

"We provide resources, we provide people, expertise, policy ideas, research, for anyone who wants to use those," DeMint told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "Over 10 of the presidential candidates on the Republican side were in for briefings, and we have been working on transition for over a year collecting names of good people all over the country for every position, developing policy manuals for where the administration needs to do to get rid of regulations.

"We have been working a long time to get ready. It is not about endorsing a person but the ideas that will make this country great again."

Last month, New York magazine claimed DeMint's "fingerprints" were all over the transition efforts, however, pointing out several Heritage Foundation officials are helping out, including: Becky Norton Dunlop, a distinguished fellow at the foundation; former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, a distinguished fellow emeritus at Heritage; James Carafano, a foundation national security expert; and Ed Feulner, who helped found Heritage.

In addition, pro-Trump donor and Heritage board member Rebekah Mercer is on the transition team's 16-member executive committee, and according to a team source, she is working with the foundation to help recruit appointees to serve in the Trump administration's undersecretary level and lower posts.

But DeMint said Wednesday it is "a mistake to think we are directing anything or have any authority."

"As I said before, we want to be a resource, but the reason we are being used so much by the Trump team is we are the only policy organization working on this in a serious way for a long time," the former senator said. "We have had volunteers since the convention, since Donald Trump became the nominee, working on ideas and policies and collecting names so Donald Trump's people can select from a really good list.

"I don't want to suggest we have any authority in this. We are a big resource and we are grateful for that."

Meanwhile, tax reform is the Heritage Foundation's main goal, and DeMint said he believes Trump will deliver on his promise to simplify the nation's tax code.

"There is a lot of political pressure to keep the tax code complex, like all the loopholes," said DeMint. "It will be a fight, but America is ready for it. "

"There are a number of people in the Senate and across America who are ready for us to get rid of this tax code," said DeMint, explaining the code costs jobs and makes it difficult to trade with other countries.

The foundation also calls for a border fence and on lawmakers to repeal Obamacare, so it can be replaced with patient-centered, free-market healthcare, DeMint said.

"The next thing would be a good Supreme Court nominee," DeMint said.

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Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint denied reports of his organization's influence in President-elect Donald Trump's transition efforts, saying Wednesday it only provide assistance as a resource.
Trump, transition, Heritage Foundation, resource
Wednesday, 07 Dec 2016 03:24 PM
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