According to multiple media reports, an unknown group or individual posted a Craigslist ad hiring actors for Trump's Phoenix rally on Tuesday. The ad stated a special interest in hiring actors who belong to identity groups not usually seen in great numbers at Trump rallies:
Several people needed for Trump rally to be held in Phoenix. Minorities especially desired to hold pro-Trump signs, cheer on command, and show diversity. Please reply with headshot and resume.
On Tuesday night, in his first official visit since assuming the Oval Office, Trump will return to Arizona, where during the 2016 campaign he delivered a fire-and-brimstone speech railing against Democratic immigration policies. "On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border," he said at the time, saying that Mexico would pay for the wall. Seven months into his tenure as president, Trump has made little tangible progress on building the wall — not much beyond attempting to bully the Mexican president into supporting the costly undertaking.
According to The Arizona Republic, the ad soliciting actors for the Trump rally went up early on Sunday, but was soon deleted. A few hours later, it reappeared, but then disappeared again five minutes later. The Republic reporters' attempts to verify the ads were not successful. Calls dialed to the phone number listed with the ads were not returned.
Torunn Sinclair, a spokesperson for the Arizona Republican Party, said that the ads were not from her organization's. "I have no idea," she said, "but they're not from AZGOP."
Following the president's contentious comments last week about the violence in Charlottesville, Trump's visit to Phoenix will not draw many prominent elected officials — regardless of whether they share the president's Republican party affiliation. Arizona's Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced he will not attend the rally, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, even asked the president not to come to the city.
"America is hurting. And it is hurting largely because Trump has doused racial tensions with gasoline," Stanton wrote in The Washington Post. "With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match."
The political rally, which will be held at the 19,000-capacity Phoenix Convention Center, is expected to draw many protesters who disagree with the president's statement that the violence in Charlottesville should be blamed on both the right-wing white supremacist demonstrators and the more progressive anti-fascist counter-protesters.
If the president's people were in fact behind the mysterious Craigslist ads for the Phoenix event, it might not be the first time Trump affiliates had paid people to support Trump. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Trump campaign allegedly hired supporters for his presidential campaign announcement.