Allegations of hiring “fans” to fill out his campaign rallies have swirled about the internet nearly from the time President Donald Trump announced his bid for office, but Alan W. Silberberg — and expert on American politics — recently made a solid case that Trump does in fact hire people to show support at his events.
Silberberg notes several incidents previously reported that indicate the Trump campaign, or an individual or entity on its behalf, hired actors to attend rallies:
In August 2017, AZCentral reported on a Craigslist ad that popped up ahead of Phoenix rally:
> The ad, posted early on Sunday, wanted to hire people to pose as Trump supporters for the rally, with “minorities especially desired to hold pro-Trump signs, cheer on command, and show diversity.”
> Those interested were asked to reply with a head-shot photo and a resume. The rate? Ten dollars per hour to stand in Phoenix’s predicted 105-degree heat Tuesday.
> After 30 minutes, the post was deleted. Four hours later, it popped up again. Five minutes later, it was gone again.
Prior to a Trump rally in Nashville in May, another ad was found by a radio producer, which also was seeking people to support Trump:
> I just found a craigslist ad that was posted by SOMEONE, whether they be directly tied to the Trump administration or not, that was searching for SEAT FILLERS for the rally! hahah they were PAYING PEOPLE TO BE IN THE AUDIENCE!
And the people who attended Trump’s presidential run announcement? They might have included paid actors as well:
> Trump has been accused of using actors during his campaign since he announced he would run for president in June 2015. What’s worse is that he paid them a measly $50 apiece to come out and cheer, according to Business Insider. Corey Lewandowski**,** Trump’s campaign manager at the time, denied the charges and in an interview with Business Insider said, “… It’s just not true, unequivocally. The Donald Trump campaign and Donald Trump did not pay anybody to attend his announcement.”
> The American Democracy Legal Fund filed a complaint in 2015 with the Federal Election Commission, saying that Trump should have disclosed the fact that he paid people. And because he didn’t, he was breaking the rules regarding reporting provisions.
> The commission closed the case, saying that the Trump campaign admitted it paid $12,000 to Gotham Government Relations on October 8. Gotham hired Extra Mile — a full-service event and incentive marketing company — with that money so it could “provide administrative support at Trump’s announcement.”
See Silberberg’s tweets below: