EXCLUSIVE: Trump's White House policy chief spells out a second-term agenda, including what would happen to taxes, drug prices, and manufacturing jobs
- Brooke Rollins runs one of the least visible but most important White House offices.
- In an exclusive interview, President Donald Trump's acting director for his Domestic Policy Council told Insider what to expect if the president wins a second term.
- A few items on a second term agenda: cutting taxes, lowering drug prices, and moving manufacturing jobs back to the US.
- "I am more encouraged, optimistic, hopeful, and more positive than I've ever been before on what good he can do for all of America, but especially those who have been underserved or not served at all for so long," Rollins said on Tuesday, the day after Trump returned from the hospital still sick from the coronavirus.
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President Donald Trump is losing in the polls. About 25 million people are unemployed, but there's little chance for a stimulus until after the November election. Trump and dozens of other people at the White House are among the 7.6 million Americans who've gotten sick from the coronavirus. More than 212,000 people haven't survived it.
It's not the picture of America Trump wanted to run his reelection campaign on. Instead, he's ready to make America 2019 again. That was a time when unemployment reached historic lows and the president could confidently run on an economic record, one he promises to restore if given another term.
The way one of his closest advisors, Brooke Rollins, sees it, it's up to the president's team — including herself — to help make the case for Trump's reelection.
Rollins, 48, is acting director of Trump's Domestic Policy Council, where she's in charge of coordinating and implementing the president's agenda. If Trump were to win, Rollins could have the opportunity to stay at the White House in a job that involves handling the fine print of the president's domestic policy agenda.
Much of her pitch for her boss leans on where the US was in the pre-coronavirus era: the strong economic record that resulted in job growth and record low poverty rates for Black and Hispanic Americans, as well as people with disabilities and veterans. She said she believes Trump can do it again, and sees his willingness to fight for America as unmatched by any president.
"I am more encouraged, optimistic, hopeful, and more positive than I've ever been before on what good he can do for all of America, but especially those who have been underserved or not served at all for so long," Rollins said in an exclusive interview earlier this week with Insider.
Jared Kushner brought Rollins to the White House
Rollins' interview with Insider on Tuesday came a day after Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for the coronavirus. The president had returned to the White House, and some staff were working from home. Rollins remained in the West Wing, which she described as "a little quieter than normal."
The Domestic Policy Council she has led since May isn't the most visible White House office, but it's hugely influential. Operating largely behind the scenes, its 31 employees are responsible for carrying out the nitty-gritty details of policy making and bringing different Cabinet members together. They ensure the various parts of government are on the same page and help carry out the president's vision.
Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, brought Rollins to the White House in 2018 because of her input on criminal justice reform. Before that, she was president and CEO of the influential conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation for 15 years and had advised the Trump campaign on economic policy.
At the White House, Rollins initially led the Office of American Innovation, which was made up of a dozen team members. The office used ideas from the business world to overhaul government operations, and it was wrapped into the Domestic Policy Council when Rollins made the transition there.
Rollins' job at the White House is to coordinate the administration's handling on issues from healthcare to economic policy and education, and to highlight the president's policy achievements. She has Trump's ear, meeting with him frequently in the West Wing. She helps write and edit speeches, and advises him on crucial issues.
"I was so drawn to the president's fight for all of America and how he was a disruptor and a change maker and a non-politician," Rollins said.
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