A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

America First Policies


Political leanings: Republican/Pro-President Trump

Spending target: Unknown

America First Policies is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit devoted to promoting the agenda of President Donald Trump. According to its website, the group’s main goals are repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, overhauling the U.S. tax system, securing the border with Mexico, building a strong national defense, rebuilding infrastructure, and providing choice in education.

America First Policies is allied with America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC that plans to spend $100 million in 2018, according to Politico.

Six of Trump’s former campaign aides created America First Policies in January 2017. The group’s founders include: Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital and data director; David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager; Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff; Marty Obst, who managed Pence’s gubernatorial reelection campaign in Indiana; and Katrina Pierson, Trump’s senior campaign communications adviser.

Rick Gates, Trump’s other deputy campaign manager, also helped create the nonprofit. However, Gates was forced to leave the group in March 2017 because of his ties to Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager. As we have previously reported, both Manafort and Gates were indicted on charges of money laundering and tax evasion related to their work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

America First Policies was mostly inactive during the first months of the Trump administration, according to Politico. Then, in late October, the organization’s officials met with Trump advisers at the White House to plan a multimillion-dollar campaign to sell Trump’s plan to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

As part of that effort, the group said it planned to spend $1 million on a TV and online ad campaign with former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski calling on “fellow patriots and friends” to get behind Trump’s tax proposal.

As of April 20, America First Policies has spent more than $1.9 million on ads and other independent expenditures trying to get Republicans elected to Congress. Most of that amount, $1.5 million, was spent opposing Democrat Jon Ossoff, who lost to Republican Karen Handel in the race to fill Georgia’s 6th District House seat. The group also spent more than $452,000 supporting former Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Roy Moore in the special GOP Senate primary runoff in Alabama.

America First Policies has not publicly disclosed its donors to the Federal Election Commission because 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to do so.