Path 2

Russell Vought

Russell Vought made his mark on the first Trump administration by halting aid to Ukraine, which led to Trump’s first impeachment. Armed with his Christian nationalism and Islamophobic beliefs, Vought could return in the next administration.

Russell Vought and Islamophobia

Vought Has Had An Anti-Muslim History

Vought Said Muslims Have A “Deficient” Theology And “They Stand Condemned” 

Vought Said Muslims Have A “Deficient Theology” And “They Stand Condemned.” According to NPR, “Vought, an alumnus of Wheaton, wrote a blog post last year expressing support for his alma mater. He quoted a theologian who said non-Christians have a ‘deficient’ theology but could have a meaningful relationship with God. Vought disagreed. ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology,’ Vought wrote. ‘They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.’” [NPR, 6/9/17]


Russell Vought and Christian Nationalism

Vought Defended Christian Nationalism

Vought Defended Christian Nationalism, Arguing Christianity Should Influence Government Policy

Vought Said Christian Nationalism “Recognizes America As A Christian Nation” And Christianity Should Influence Government. According to an op-ed by Russell Vought in Newsweek, “My own definition of ‘Christian nationalism’ would be this: An orientation for engaging in the public square that recognizes America as a Christian nation, where our rights and duties are understood to come from God and where our primary responsibilities as citizens are for building and preserving the strength, prosperity and health of our own country. It is a commitment to an institutional separation between church and state, but not the separation of Christianity from its influence on government and society. It is a belief that our participation in the political system can lead to beneficial outcomes for our own communities, as well as individuals of all faiths.” [Newsweek, Op-ed – Russell Vought, 3/22/21]

Vought Said Christian Nationalism Was “A Rather Benign And Useful Description.” According to an op-ed by Russell Vought in Newsweek, “This debate is important, though—once stripped of its superimposed liberal scar tissue, ‘Christian nationalism’ is actually a rather benign and useful description for those who believe in both preserving our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and making public policy decisions that are best for this country. The term need not be subjected to such intense scorn due to misunderstanding or slander.” [Newsweek, Op-ed – Russell Vought, 3/22/21]

Vought Was Influenced In His Christian Nationalist Views By Extremist William Wolfe, An Opponent Of Marriage Equality And No-Fault Divorce

Vought Has Had A Close Relationship With Christian Nationalist William Wolfe. According to Politico, “Vought has a close affiliation with Christian nationalist William Wolfe, a former Trump administration official who has advocated for overturning same-sex marriage, ending abortion and reducing access to contraceptives.” [Politico, 2/20/24]

Wolfe Influenced Vought’s Christian Nationalist Beliefs. According to Politico, “Voughts beliefs over time have been informed by his relationship with Wolfe. The two spent time together at Heritage Action, a conservative policy advocacy group. And Vought has praised their yearslong partnership. ‘Im proud to work with @William_E_Wolfe on scoping out a sound Christian Nationalism,’ he posted on X, then Twitter, in January 2023.” [Politico, 2/20/24]

Wolfe Called For Ending Sex Education, Surrogacy, And No-Fault Divorce. According to Politico, “Wolfe, who has deleted several posts on X that detail his views, has a more extreme outlook of what a government led by Christian nationalists should propose. In a December post, he called for ending sex education in schools, surrogacy and no-fault divorce throughout the country, as well as forcing men ‘to provide for their children as soon as its determined the child is theirs’ — a clear incursion by the government into Americansprivate lives.” [Politico, 2/20/24]

Russell Vought and Ukraine Aid

Vought Opposed And Helped Freeze Ukraine Aid

Vought Oversaw The Office Of Management And Budget’s Ukraine Aid Freeze, Which Led To Trump’s First Impeachment

Trump Was Impeached Over Withholding Ukraine Aid. According to the Associated Press, “Trump was impeached last month on charges of abusing his power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rivals, as he was withholding the aid, and for obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe. The Senate will decide whether to convict him on either charge, which would result in his removal from office. A two-thirds vote is required for conviction.” [Associated Press, 1/16/20]

While Vought Was The Acting Director Of The Office Of Management And Budget, Congressionally Approved Foreign Aid To Ukraine Was Withheld. According to Roll Call, “Senate Budget Committee Democrats denounced the nomination of Russell Vought to be director of the Office of Management and Budget at a hearing Wednesday, with their primary focus on what they say was an illegal withholding of foreign aid to Ukraine. […] Patty Murray, D-Wash., called Vought ‘unfit and unqualified’ to lead OMB, adding that she was ‘stunned’ that the committee was even holding the hearing. Murray charged that OMB violated federal law while Vought served as acting director last year by temporarily withholding military aid to Ukraine. The Government Accountability Office said OMB violated the law, but OMB has maintained the hold was legal.” [Roll Call, 6/3/20]

The Government Accountability Office Found White House Budget Office’s Ukraine Aid Freeze Violated The Law. According to Politico, “The White House budget office violated the law when it froze U.S. military aid to Ukraine, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report. President Donald Trump ordered the hold on the critical security assistance in July, a slew of senior White House officials testified to House impeachment investigators late last year. It was a move that coincided with an effort by the president and his allies to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trumps Democratic rivals. ‘Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,’ the GAO wrote in an eight-page report released on Thursday.” [Politico, 1/16/20]

Vought Was Subpoenaed Due To Ukraine Aid Freeze

Vought Was Subpoenaed Due To Ukraine Aid Freeze. According to Politico, “House impeachment investigators issued a subpoena to President Donald Trumps acting budget director Russ Vought, part of a round of subpoenas sent by the House Intelligence Committee.Also subpoenaed were Michael Duffey, a senior official in the Office of Management and Budget, and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, counsel at the State Department. All three men declined recent requests by investigators to testify voluntarily. Vought and Duffey are expected to face questions about their knowledge of a White House decision to block military aid to Ukraine despite approval from Congress and the Pentagon.” [Politico, 10/25/19]

Vought Has Continued to Oppose Aid To Ukraine

Vought Has Continued To Oppose Aid To Ukraine. According to Defense One, “Conservative groups are lobbying members of Congress to vote against the White House’s request for additional money for Ukraine, arguing that the administration is asking for a blank check with no long-term plan to end the war. […] Others, including Russ Vought, president of the Center for Renewing America and former director of the Office of Management and Budget, also slammed the request for more aid. ‘The American people are tired of the neoconservative policy consensus that demands billions of their tax dollars be spent to defend the integrity of Ukraine’s border when resources and stewardship cannot be found to address our own,’ Vought said. ‘This new package will prolong a fight that lacks an American dog, allowing regional allies to shirk their security responsibilities yet again.’” [Defense One, 9/9/22]


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