Ex-Trump Official Says Trump Is Hiding Extreme Positions While Campaigning

William Wolfe, a former senior White House official and self-described Christian nationalist, said Trump’s policy agenda in a second term would be more “radical.”

A former White House official and prominent fundamentalist Christian said Donald Trump is “cloaking” his actual, “radical” beliefs on the campaign trail, and that a second Trump administration would see him “govern in a more conservative and more aggressive fashion.”

William Wolfe ― a self-described “Christian nationalist” who served under Trump as a deputy assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon and as director of legislative affairs at the State Department ― made the remarks Thursday during a conversation on X Spaces, a live audio chat room on the platform formerly known as Twitter. Wolfe was among half a dozen panelists convened by editors at The Sentinel, a far-right digital media outlet, to discuss Trump’s stance on abortion.

The panelists were concerned that Trump had publicly criticized the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to uphold an 1864 law banning nearly all abortions in the state. They were also perturbed about Trump’s claim that he would not support a federal abortion ban, Right Wing Watch first reported.

But Wolfe argued that Trump — whose selections for the U.S. Supreme Court led to the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, which had protected abortion rights in America — is hiding his actual position on many issues, including abortion.

“I actually think there’s wisdom in cloaking some of your power levels and maybe some of the things that you’re trying to do, and then once you secure power, and you have it, you govern in a more extreme position,” Wolfe said. “I think Trump is one of the first Republican candidates I’ve ever seen in my lifetime who has done that.”

“Power levels,” a popular term in online far-right and white supremacist circles, refers to the degree of a person’s extremism or radicalization. It’s most often used when discussing the need to “hide your power levels” while infiltrating mainstream conservative and Republican organizations.

“I am confident with the people that I see lining up to be with Trump in a second term that regardless of what the rhetoric looks like during this campaign season, that he would actually govern in a more conservative and more aggressive fashion in the White House,” Wolfe said. “That’s something that I think we need to be comfortable with and maybe we should use ― maybe even some other conservative Republicans out there who want to run for office and gain power and use it to do radical scary conservative things should consider doing.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Wolfe’s remarks.

Wolfe has intimate knowledge of at least one person heavily involved in shaping Trump’s potential second-term policy agenda. As reported by Politico, Wolfe has close ties to Russ Vought, president of the Center for Renewing America, a MAGA-aligned think tank that’s part of the consortium behind Project 2025, a blueprint for a radically conservative second Trump administration.

Wolfe was a visiting fellow at CRA, and also worked alongside Vought at Heritage Action, another conservative policy advocacy group. “I’m proud to work with @William_E_Wolfe on scoping out a sound Christian Nationalism,” Vought tweeted in January 2023.

Vought’s plans for the Trump administration include infusing Christian nationalism into every level of government, according to documents obtained by Politico. Christian nationalism is based in the belief that America was founded as a Christian nation and that a far-right, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible should guide policy agendas — a theocratic worldview that makes little room for equal governance in a diverse, pluralistic society.

Wolfe is a leading proponent of Christian nationalism in America, and has advocated for banning abortions, sex education in schools, same-sex marriage and no-fault divorces. He has also made anti-trans comments, once arguing that “it’s your moral and civic duty to ‘misgender’ a man pretending to be a woman.”

In October, Wolfe appeared on “The Stew Peters Show,” a livestreamed talk show named for its host, a white supremacist and antisemite who frequently advocates for executing Democratic government officials. Wolfe argued on the show that Christian nationalists elected to office need to “exercise authority” in accordance with the Bible to save America from “globo-homo nationalism.”

Later that month, Wolfe told a crowd of Christians at a conference that they are “close” to a time when it’ll be necessary to take up arms in defense of their faith.

“If we have ever lived in a point in time in American history since then that we could argue that now is the time to arms again, I think we are getting close,” Wolfe said, according to another report from Right Wing Watch. “Even though as Christians we seek peace, when the enemy is pressed upon us, if we fail to heed the call to arms, then we are acting as cowards.”

During the X Spaces conversation last week, Wolfe ― who at one point used a transphobic slur ― argued that the Biden administration is “possessed by legions of demons, Marxists and radicals” who hate Christians and “humanity itself.”

“What we’re up against is one of the most lawless, hostile and aggressive anti-Christian regimes that we have ever seen in our country to this point,” Wolfe said of President Joe Biden’s White House. In reality, Biden is a practicing Catholic.

“The Biden administration is ruthless,” Wolfe went on. “They will utilize the crushing and deadly power of the federal government, the national security apparatus, and the deep state to destroy you and your family without remorse. If you’re an outspoken, conservative Christian in this country, and you’re not walking around looking over your shoulder, wondering when the FBI might be coming to roll you up for your group chats or for your memes or for your advocacy for Christian values and causes in the country, you need to be.”

“I think [Biden] poses a civilizational threat to our country and the world,” he said.

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