Members of President Trump’s failed reelection campaign played key roles in orchestrating the rally that spawned a deadly assault on the US Capitol, according to an AP analysis, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president's grassroots supporters. Pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the White House Ellipse. But an attachment to the event permit lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House. Women for America First did not respond to messages seeking comment about how the event was financed and about the Trump campaign’s involvement.
Trump’s reelection campaign denies involvement in organizing the event. If any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, it said in a statement, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.” Among those people, per the AP analysis, are:
- Caroline Wren, a GOP fundraiser, is named as a “VIP Advisor” on an attachment to the rally permit. Between mid-March and mid-November, Trump's campaign paid her $20,000 a month, FEC records show.
- Maggie Mulvaney is listed as the rally's “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign.
- Justin Caporale is listed as the event’s project manager. Caporale was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020, per FEC records.
- Tim Unes of Event Strategies was the “stage manager” for the rally, according to the permit. Unes has longstanding ties to Trump, whose campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020.
- Hannah Salem, was the rally’s “operations manager for logistics and communications,” according to the permit. Starting in 2017, she spent three years as senior White House press aide.
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