For almost four decades, the Council for National Policy (CNP) has convened secret organizing meetings for leaders and donors on the right in U.S. politics. Recent speakers have included the leaders of groups like the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Tea Party Patriots, alongside senior Republican politicians, strategists and activists. Vice President Pence and President Donald Trump have both spoken since 2016, as have Trump administration aides and the Trump political campaign senior staff.
The CNP mission is to coordinate actions amongst its membership to push the U.S. to the right culturally and politically. An internal 2016 CNP policy, a copy of which was obtained by Documented, makes clear the secretive nature of these meetings. It reads:
“CNP meetings are off the record. To promote free discussion and a lively exchange of ideas, CNP members may not disclose the source of what is said at a meeting, whether by CNP members, invited guests or speakers.”
“…CNP members may not record, stream, “tweet”, or post on Facebook or via other social media forums, any CNP meetings, events, communications or other content.”
Members who breach the policy risk having their CNP membership revoked.
Despite this, CNP itself recorded many of its meetings in recent years, and 59 recordings from these sessions have been obtained by Documented and released together here for the first time.
To learn more about CNP and its members, see our investigations page.
In conjunction with the Intercept, Documented has previously reported on some of these meetings and remarks:
- 2018 CNP Meeting, James O’Keefe remarks
- 2019 CNP Meeting HR 1 Voting Rights
- 2019 CNP Meeting Ginni Thomas Trump Conservative Group
- 2020 CNP Republican Poll Watchers and Voter Fraud
Additionally, the Washington Post published remarks made by Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo from the February 2019 meeting.