Trump aide says campaign cast paid to appear in 2016 ad

Donald trump2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said actors were paid to appear in the former president’s campaign announcement on June 16, 2015 after forcefully denying the story at the time.

“It’s a special Michael Cohen,” Lewandowski said Initiated. “Michael Cohen decided he was going to hire a buddy of his and pay his buddy without getting any campaign approval. You know, $ 50 for every person walking in, standing in Trump Tower.”

“Any allegation of payments to actors is an absolute lie which has been promoted by Corey Lewandowski,” Michael Cohen told the outlet in response.

Mr. Cohen, who at the time was Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, said Mr. Trump hired David Schwartz of the public relations firm Gotham Government Relations & Communication to organize the event “in a professional manner. “.

“This event was really our idea: the most famous escalator in political history was this one,” Schwartz said. Initiated. “In the end, we had thousands of people there, then the press accused us of hiring thousands of actors. From the fees I received, that wouldn’t have been a good one. business decision on the part of anyone.

“The reality is that we hired 50 people, some of whom were part-time actors, I found out later. But we hired 50 people to help coordinate an event that attracted thousands of people, ”added Mr. Schwartz.

Hollywood journalist reported at the time that the campaign was offering actors $ 50 to attend the ad.

Mr. Lewandoski said Initiated in 2015, he “unequivocally” denied the allegations that payments had been made.

“You know Donald Trump. No one believes that when Donald Trump goes somewhere he doesn’t generate the biggest, biggest and most exuberant crowds on the planet, ”Lewandowski said in 2015.“ That’s just not true. , unequivocal. Donald Trump’s campaign and Donald Trump paid no one to attend his announcement.

2016 candidate Carly Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur said she remembered thinking, “Dude, I’m surprised he couldn’t even get people over there. It sounds crazy ”.

Amanda Carpenter, at the time communications director for 2016 nominee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, told the outlet: “It sounded strange. I was looking at the cover of ‘Oh, did they pay people to show up? Who were these people? “

A video posted on the YouTube channel from Gotham Government Relations & Communication presents the announcement, in which Mr. Schwartz uses a megaphone and directs attendees during a call and response in the lobby of Trump Tower.

Despite good polls, Mr. Trump’s campaign was initially seen as a joke among political insiders, with many mocking his Trump Tower announcement, claiming it was simply a means for Mr. Trump to promote his hotels and golf courses.

“He was not a serious person at the time,” said Josh Schwerin, a former spokesperson for 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “There had been a debate of will-it-won’t-there for a very long time. It didn’t seem like a serious thing.

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