If you saw one of the fans at Donald Trump's presidential announcement on Tuesday and thought, "Gee, I think I've seen that person before," chances are you have — a new report says that some of those participants were paid actors.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained an email sent out on Friday from New York-based Extra Mile Casting, which said they were looking to cast people to "wear T-shirts and carry signs" for "an event in support of Donald Trump and an upcoming exciting announcement he will be making at this event." The email said participants would earn $50 cash, and admitted that the event "is not a traditional 'background job,' but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought."
The issue first came to light when a man named Angelo Carusone came across an Instagram photo of a man he recognized as a background actor posing at the event; after he posted a screen grab of the photo online, the actor deleted the post, then his account. The email from Extra Mile said it was being sent in partnership with Gotham Government Relations and Communications, a political consulting group that has worked with Trump before. They refused to comment to The Hollywood Reporter, and Extra Mile said they "don't know anything about that."
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Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said they did not pay anyone to attend the event and he had never heard of Extra Mile or Gotham Government Relations. With a grandiose message that sounds like it came straight from the Donald himself, Lewandowski told The Hollywood Reporter: "Mr. Trump draws record crowds at almost every venue at which he is a featured speaker. The crowds are large, often record-setting and enthusiastic, often with standing ovations. Mr. Trump's message is, 'Make America great again.'"
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