Sunday, January 22, 2017

The FEC Inadvertently Confirms That Trump Paid Actors to Attend His Announcement Event

By Sarah Jones on Fri, Jan 20th, 2017

Remember when the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign had hired actors to attend Trump’s announcement event held at Trump Tower on June 16 and Donald Trump’s team denied this? I’m sure you will be shocked to learn that it’s true. Yes, an FEC document confirmed it.

The Trump campaign won’t get in trouble for this, the FEC concluded, but yes they used a casting agency called The Extra Mile to pay extras to attend Donald Trump’s announcement. Here’s the highlights from the FEC doc:

SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that the Committee paid actors to attend Trump’s candidacy announcement but failed to disclose payments to the actors or the companies that allegedly hired them, or to report a debt or obligations to Gotham, one of the companies involved with running the announcement event. Consequently, Gotham and Extra Mile, the other company allegedly involved with hiring the actors, may have made and Trump and the Committee may have accepted prohibited or excessive contributions. Trump was a 2016 candidate for United States President.

DISPOSITION: The Commission exercised its prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation that the Committee failed to report debt to Gotham, in light of the relatively modest amount at issue. The Commission closed the file in connection with the remaining allegations.

We believe that the service at issue here — assembling a crowd of attendees for a candidacy announcement — provided a benefit to the Trump campaign…

In this matter, the available information indicates that the Committee, retained Gotham as an event consultant, and Gotham, in turn, subcontracted with Extra Mile to provide extra administrative support at Trump’s announcement, including the provision of at least some of the rally crowd.

Extra Mile issued a casting call e-mail for actors “to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer [Trump] in support of his announcement” in exchange for a payment of S50.


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