If you watched Donald Trump launch his presidential campaign on Tuesday, you might’ve noticed he attracted quite the crowd.
Or, according to Hollywood Reporter, he didn’t quite attract a crowd, so much as “rent” one.
Allegedly, he paid the people cheering him on $50 a head–similar to how movies hire extras to fill out crowd scenes.
The tip-off came from Media Matters, a far-Left group funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, which specializes in hit pieces on conservatives.
But, after their intial claims, the Hollywood Reporter jumped on the story, and came to the same conclusion: Trump’s crowd? A fake.
“New York-based Extra Mile Casting sent an email last Friday to its client list of background actors, seeking extras to beef up attendance at Trump’s 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.'”
Extra Mile Casting has, so far, claimed they know nothing about the Trump event.
While Media Matters and the Hollywood Reporter are hardly unbiased or reputable sources, it lends an interesting question: what should a candidate do if they can’t fill the room?
Trump isn’t the first candidate for 2016 to get accused of beefing up the crowd: Ted Cruz announced his campaign at Liberty University, at an event all students were required to attend. Some of the students could even be seen wearing Rand Paul t-shirts in the background.
And of course, some just can’t attract supporters at all. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hosted an event in Iowa, which attracted 5 people–and Rick Santorum showed up for a rally where there was only one person.
It’s a long road for Donald Trump, the flamboyant, twice-divorced businessman who has seen several companies bearing his name go bankrupt over the years, to be taken seriously as a Republican contender.
In the meantime, if you can’t attract a crowd–there’s always renting one.