Actors reportedly hired to encourage launch of Trump’s 2015 campaign
The PR organizer of Donald Trump’s 2015 presidential campaign launch reportedly admitted paying actors to cheer on the new candidate.
According to Business Insider, the crowd of purported fans greeted the future president as he descended an escalator in Trump Tower to make his announcement. The smiling, restless crowd looked like a scene straight out of Trump’s “Apprentice” reality show.
“The reality is that we hired 50 people, some of whom were part-time actors that I discovered later,” David Schwartz of public relations firm Gotham Government Relations & Communication told the financial reporting site.
But Schwartz, who said his company was hired to organize the event, stressed that the suitors were only a small portion of those at the event venue.
“This event was really our idea: the most famous escalator in political history was this one,” Schwartz said. “In the end, we had thousands of people there, and then the press accused us of hiring thousands of actors. Based on the fees I received, it wouldn’t have been a good business decision on anyone’s part.
Schwartz’s company posted a video of the orchestrated event on YouTube (above) following Trump’s announcement six years ago. The creators of “The Apprentice” later mocked the promotional escalator, which was entered into the program.
Producer Bill Pruitt called the portrayal of Trump and his company in “The Apprentice” a scam.
“It was entertainment,” Pruitt explained in “The Confidence Man,” a documentary about Trump in Netflix’s “Dirty Money” series.
“Most of us knew he was a fake,” program editor Jonathan Braun told The New Yorker in 2019. “He had just suffered I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we did. he was the most important person in the world, it was like making the court jester king.
Schwartz’s revelation was part of Insider’s oral history of Trump’s rise, which can be read here.
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