Donald Trump’s campaign manager disputed claims that they’d hired actors to be at the campaign launch on Wednesday, arguing that the real estate mogul attracts his own crowds.
Angelo Carusone, the executive vice president for Media Matters, penned an article for Medium.com in which he accused Trump of hiring fake fans. He cited as evidence anonymous sources and a now-deleted Instagram post that appears to show an actor attending the event. Carusone runs an online campaign called “Dump Trump” and has tangled with Trump before: The mogul once threatened a $25 million lawsuit after Carusone lobbied Macy’s to drop Trump products.
The campaign disputed the claims with a simple, “no.”
“Mr. Trump draws record crowds at almost every venue where he is a featured speaker,” campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told msnbc. “The crowds are large, often record setting, and enthusiastic, with consistent standing ovations.”
Carusone, who stressed that the “Dump Trump” effort isn’t related to his work at Media Matters, told msnbc he “was comfortable with the claims.”
A New York-based casting company allegedly sent out a casting call to those willing to wear shirts and hold signs as Trump’s announcement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The ad reportedly promised $50 for less than three hours of work.
“I doubt I’m alone in being wary of accepting one of Trump’s claims based on blind faith in his credibility,” he said, calling Trump “disreputable and deceitful” in an email.
The crowd at Trump’s New York City presidential campaign launch on Tuesday was smaller than predicted: Roughly 300 attendees crowded into the Trump Tower Atrium, less than the 1,000 people his team said they expected.
Still, Trump praised — and overstated the size of — the crowd at his event. “Wow, that is some group of people — thousands!” he exclaimed.