The conservative think tanks surrounding the Trump camp

By Laurie Bennett

December 15, 2016 at 4:00pm

With every new administration comes a shift in influence among the country’s major think tanks.

During President Obama’s watch, one of the organizations with the most clout was the liberal Center for American Progress. Had Hillary Clinton won the 2016 president race, CAP would certainly have enjoyed continued prominence, since its founder, John Podesta, was both a counselor to Obama and chairman of the Clinton campaign.

Donald Trump hasn’t much of history with or donations to major think tanks, but many of his cabinet nominees and transition team members do.

The Heritage Foundation, a major critic of Obama energy policy and a recipient of funding from both Charles Koch and the DeVos family, has four current and former ties to people nominated or screening nominations. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was keynote speaker at an annual Heritage gathering last week.

The Hoover Institution has three connections to top Trump people, as does the more middle-of-the-road Council on Foreign Relations.

Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick for Transportation secretary, has links to four think tanks. Wilbur Ross, the designee for Commerce, is a trustee of the Brookings Institution.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s controversial choice for Education, has a board seat at the American Enterprise Institute, where fellow trustees include Dick Cheney and Peter Coors.

Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is on the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The center’s board includes both big-name Democrats (William Daley, Leon Panetta, Zbigniew Brzezinski) and Republicans (William Cohen, Kenneth Langone, Henry Kissinger).

But as the interactive Muckety map above shows, most of the think tanks circling the president-to-be lean heavily toward the right.

Related news: Center for American Progress focuses on anti-Trump efforts - Politico

Follow Muckety on Twitter Tweet This! Share on Facebook

Click here to sign up for the Muckety Newsletter

 Read related stories: Politics · Recent Stories · Think tanks  


  • There are no comments yet, be the first by filling in the form below.

Leave a Comment

The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.

Become a fan of Muckety on Facebook

  • Search for stories
    Special Features

Follow Muckety on Twitter Follow Muckety on Twitter
Muckety has no direct connection to most of the people or organizations listed on these pages.
We are unable to forward personal messages or provide personal contact information.
We make every effort at Muckety to ensure that our data is correct and timely. However, relationships are in constant flux and we cannot guarantee accuracy. If you come across incorrect or outdated information, please let us know by email.
© 2017 Muckety LLC