16

The Atlantic reported in 2015 that Trump hired actors to support him in a campaign announcement:

Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement last month was widely mocked, not only for the rambling diatribe he used to launch the campaign but for the actors he paid $50 apiece to cheer for it.

The Washington Post concurred:

Trump's announcement, held on the lower level of the Trump Tower lobby, was framed by cheering crowds watching from the floors above. Some of the members of that crowd, it was soon reported, were apparently paid to be there.

Is this true?

  • 1
    are you asking if he did it more than once or more than zero times? – dandavis Aug 2 '18 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Giter - Noted, will search. The article was brand new (yesterday's news.) Still, did he pay for visible support at the campaign launch? I will look for a more recent semi-credible claim. – anongoodnurse Aug 2 '18 at 22:04
  • 1
    I've also heard this claim for the launch event of the campaign, but not for anything later. Making this more specific would be helpful, especially as deciding what counts as a "rally" could get complicated. – Mad Scientist Aug 2 '18 at 22:24
  • 2
    I've focussed the question on the notable claims presented. However, the Washington Post has references to support their claims. Any particular reason you weren't convinced by them, so we don't just repeat them? – Oddthinking Aug 2 '18 at 22:27
  • 2
    @Oddthinking - I have a pretty good idea of how to evaluate scientific literature, but not news (The Hollywood Reporter? Is it a credible source? I don't know.) In searching, I've come across claims in somewhat reliable sources (not quackery) that could be taken to mean these reports were untrue. I'll reread the WP article to see what I've missed. – anongoodnurse Aug 2 '18 at 23:09
20

According to a Federal Election Commission document:

We believe that the service at issue here — assembling a crowd of attendees for a candidacy announcement — provided a benefit to the Trump campaign [footnote 23]. It is not uncommon for campaigns to hire companies or casting agencies like Extra Mile to generate a crowd at an event. 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 [footnote 24].

So, reviewing the evidence, the General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission considers that the claim is true.

  • 1
    Seems strange to me to even start to doubt this in the first place. To me, that is absolute standard practice, everywhere. But then, WP seems a bit misleading on describing a Claque. Whether TV-debates, election campaigns or any speaker event. Whether UK, Germany, US, Russia or France. Reality got unrealistic in these cases. Astroturfing, and a step up to Surkov. – LаngLаngС Aug 3 '18 at 8:45
  • 1
    @LangLangC I don't know enough about US, UK, Russia or France, but I am sure you are mistaken at least about Germany. Paid guests are extremely rare at TV debates, election campaigns or other speaker events. If such payments became public, it would be a scandal. For example, in May 2018, a party paid some of its members to attend a rally. They were the butt of jokes for days. spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/… – jcsahnwaldt says GoFundMonica Aug 30 '18 at 16:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .