Some see the proposed $265 million White House campaign as a misuse of taxpayer dollars for partisan political purposes ahead of the election
Civil rights activist and writer, Charlotte Clymer took to Twitter and released a 34-page document that exposed the White House’s efforts to vet celebrities for a $265 million public campaign to help President Donald Trump “defeat coronavirus despair.”
According to documents released on Thursday by House investigators, the campaign was planned around the theme that “helping the president will help the country.”
This document is fascinating. The Trump White House compiled 34 pages of celebrity outreach information with details on their political leanings for what became a failed COVID-related campaign reelection effort: https://t.co/RAqjm4f8d5
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 31, 2020
The New York Times reported that Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, imagined a campaign of A-List celebrities that would lift American spirits, but lawmakers said the list sought to exclude celebrities who had supported gay rights or same sex marriage or who had publicly spoken against President Trump.
Subsequently, the campaign fell apart in late September amid criticism and investigation.
I joined @RepMaloney & @WhipClyburn of @Oversightdems to release docs revealing that the Trump Admin’s failed #COVID19 ad campaign tried to use taxpayer dollars to help @realDonaldTrump's reelection. They even vetted celebrities based on their politics. https://t.co/fmreVIMdqo
— Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) October 29, 2020
Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis released the records, stating that “these documents include extremely troubling revelations.”
They alleged that Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, had engaged in a “cover-up to conceal the Trump Administration’s misuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for partisan political purposes ahead of the upcoming election.”
During a lengthy rant on Facebook, Mr. Caputo drew attention to the campaign by claiming that the president had personally put him in charge of the project and that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” to undermine the president.
Documents show that the public relations effort researched the political views and backgrounds of at least 274 celebrities in what appeared to be an effort to root out anti-Trump sentiments that could have an impact on the initiative. Some of the celebrities that were secretly vetted included: Beyoncé, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande, Lil Baby, Travis Scott, and Morgan Freeman.
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