With the California primaries in full swing, a Los Angeles Bernie Sanders rally became the target of a California Craigslist ad which purported to be hiring fake, racist Donald Trump supporters. This interesting advertisement popped up shortly after Hillary Clinton’s rally in Los Angeles this past Sunday. The timing could not be worse since the California primary voting is now taking place.
The Los Angeles Craigslist ad in question started off with a fairly innocent sounding title: “Protesters needed for political event — $15 an hour”. Unfortunately, sources only have a partial transcript of the ad, but the ad was very clear that it was hiring fake Donald Trump supporters who could act as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders protesters.
“We need people to pretend to be angry, bitter, unemployed and poorly educated Trump supporters to go yell and interrupt Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton rallies. Previous incarceration is not a…”
If you click on the link to the Los Angeles Craigslist page, you will see that “this posting has been flagged for removal. The title on the listings page will be removed in just a few minutes.” The exact date of the Craigslist posting is unknown, although Facebook users were posting about it as early as June 5, 2016. Attempts at recovering the ad have been foiled since Google’s cache did not save the original information and the Wayback Machine at archive.org only saved the page after Craigslist flagged it for removal.
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Even though the original post was removed, yesterday on Monday morning someone created yet another Craigslist ad which also stated they were looking to pay protesters $15 an hour. Based upon the included map, it seems the intended target is a San Francisco Donald Trump rally set in or near the Castro district.
In this case, a member of Free Republic captured a screenshot of the advertisement.
“To Whom It May Concern: We will pay $15.00 an hour plus travel (including room and board), clothing, flags, signs, etc. for individuals willing to disrupt Trump rallies throughout the US. If interested please leave your name and a contact number. Thank you.”
The authenticity of these Craigslist ads could not be confirmed. However, in the past Vice reported on how fake protesters had started to become standard practice. Back in 2013, a company called Crowds on Demand would organize fake protests and pay people $15 per hour. They even provided fake fans for people wanting to fake being famous.
The GOP thinks it’ll somehow control Trump????? Ask Birgitt Peterson if she’d like that.
Reap what you sow,???? pic.twitter.com/NWt8MZlxit
— ⚾️ (@JPBoutros) May 27, 2016
It is also possible that the Craigslist ad is intentionally misleading in order to paint Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters in a bad light. In multiple Facebook posts, the featured photo for the Craigslist ad shows Birgitt Peterson, a Donald Trump supporter who infamously made the Nazi salute this past fall. For a short time, Donald Trump, Jr. retweeted a message wrongly identifying the woman as Portia Boulger, a Bernie supporter who managed pro-Bernie Facebook groups.
“Big surprise. However, the media will never run this,” Trump’s son wrote in his tweet, which was subsequently deleted.
During the 2016 election, fake news and reports have been used throughout. For example, recently there was a case of the Trump campaign retweeting a reference to a black family supporting Trump, but that was faked. Snopes reports there is an image of a woman being beaten by progressives at a Trump rally in San Jose, but that photo was yanked from a TV show.
Whatever the truth may be about this Craigslist ad, the California primary votes are pouring in right now and there is probably little a fake Donald Trump supporter could do to sway the minds of voters at this late hour.
What do you think?
[Photo By David McNew/Getty Images]