The Council for National Policy: Behind the Curtain - 2016-05-17
For 35 years, a shadowy and intensely secretive group has operated behind the scenes, providing a venue three times a year for powerful American politicians and others on the right to meet privately to build the conservative movement.
The Council for National Policy (CNP) is, in the words of The New York Times, "a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country," an organization so tight-lipped that it tells its people not to admit membership or even name the group. It is important enough that last fall, according to an account in The National Review, Donald Trump and five other Republican presidential candidates each took 30 minutes to address the group; the conservative journal reported that Trump was by far the favorite candidate.
The names of many members and officers of the group have leaked over the years, and some of its officers are reported on the organization's tax forms. But the last time long lists of its members was made public was in 1998. For the most part since then, members of the CNP — which can be joined only by invitation, at a cost of thousands of dollars — have managed to keep their identities secret.