Trump hired actors to cheer him on as he announced his presidential campaign. Furthermore, intelligence officials allege that he is lying about not bringing a group of supporters with him to his recent speech at CIA headquarters.
After Trump first announced his run for the presidency, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story alleging that he had hired actors to pose as supporters at his campaign launch event. The report was denied by Trump's team, though last week, a document was uncovered by the Federal Election Commission that proved that Trump had indirectly paid a casting agency for the event.
The firm Gotham Government Relations, on behalf of Trump, hired the Extra Mile agency, which supplied actors for the campaign kickoff. The FEC got involved when months went by and Gotham never got paid the $12,000 it charged Trump for its services. The American Democracy Legal Fund filed a complaint regarding Trump not paying his actors. It was not until October that the payment was made to Gotham, which, in turn, compensated the actors.
The FEC decided that there was not sufficient evidence in the delay of payment to suggest any foul play, but in responding to the complaint, the agency revealed that Trump did, in fact, hire actors to cheer him on as he announced his campaign. Ostensibly, this was perfectly legal, though Trump's team denied having any knowledge of the presence of hired talent at the event.
Something relatively similar happened when Trump visited CIA headquarters on Saturday, his second day as president. Some noted that Trump's speech seemed to go over well, with cheering and applause throughout. Indeed, while speaking, Trump suggested that he had the full-on support of the intelligence community, but according to a new CBS News report, intelligence officials have said that the president brought 40-or-so supporters with him to sit in the first few rows.
Agency workers also reportedly told CBS News that they were mostly "uncomfortable" with Trump's appearance at CIA headquarters, which they feel "made relations with the intelligence community worse."
Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer -- who has recently come under fire for the "alternative facts" he spewed about the attendance at the inauguration -- denied that there were any Trump supporters in the first few rows. "There were no Trump or White House folks sitting down," he said on Monday. "They were all CIA ... So, not in rows one-through-anything, from what I’m told.”
About 400 intelligence employees, out of thousands who received an email invitation, RSVP'd to the event. Officials reportedly denied that there were people waiting to get into the event, as the White House had claimed.