The guy who yelled “We need Trump now!” as the business mogul announced his presidential campaign Tuesday may well have been a paid actor.
According to an email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the Trump campaign appears to have baited background actors with $50 bills to root for the Donald during his announcement speech at Trump Tower in New York City.
The email message was circulated by casting company Extra Mile Casting, which is based in New York, to background actors. In part, it read:
We are working helping one of are [sic] associates out at Gotham GR – http://gothamgr.com/ with a big event happening on TUESDAY 6/16/15. This is an event in support of Donald Trump and an upcoming exciting announcement he will be making at this event. … We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement. We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job,’ but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.
The message goes on to offer the actors $50 cash at the end of the event, which was expected to last about three hours.
The email text suggests that the casting company was working with Gotham Government Relations and Communications, a political consulting group based in New York that has a past relationship with Trump. The group refused to comment on the reports.
An Extra Mile employee, when confronted with the news of the email via phone, insisted, “We don’t know anything about that,” promptly hanging up when asked if she would deny the reports.
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, on the other hand, dismissed the story with an abrupt “no.”
“Mr. Trump draws record crowds at almost every venue at which he is a featured speaker,” Lewandowski asserted. “The crowds are large, often record-setting and enthusiastic, often with standing ovations. Mr. Trump’s message is, ‘Make America great again.'”
Such denial is no surprise, regardless of the truth. We’re betting anyone confirming the validity of the email would hear a swift, “You’re fired.”