PHOENIX A.Z. (AP) — For months now, rumors have circulated the Internet that individuals were being paid to protest at rallies held by presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Today a man from Trump’s rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona back in March has come forward to say that he was paid to protest the event.
“I was given $3,500 to protest Donald Trump’s rally in Fountain Hills,” said 37-year-old Paul Horner. “I answered a Craigslist ad about a group needing actors for a political event. I interviewed with them and got the part.”
Trump supporters have been claiming that protesters are being paid by the Bernie Sanders’ campaign, but Horner disagrees.
“As for who these people were affiliated with that interviewed me, my guess would be Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Horner said. “The actual check I received after I was done with the job was from a group called ‘Women Are The Future’. After I was hired, they told me if anyone asked any questions about who I was with or communicated with me in any way, I should start talking about how great Bernie Sanders is.” Horner continued, “It was mostly women in their 60’s at the interview that I went to. Plus, all the people that I communicated with had an AOL email address. No one still has an AOL email address except people that would vote for Hillary Clinton.”
A screenshot of the Craigslist ad that Horner says he responded to. The actual ad has since been removed. (Dennis System, File) / ABC News
“I knew those weren’t real protesters, they were too organized and smart,” said 59-year-old Tom Downey, a Trump supporter who attended the rally in Fountain Hills. “I knew there was something up when they started shouting all these facts and nonsense like that. The best we could do was just yell and punch em’ and stuff.” Downey continued, “I think we did a good job though. I was shouting at them the whole time, calling them losers, telling them to get a job or go back home to mommy’s house; I got a bunch of high-fives from my fellow Trump supporters. It was a great time.”
When asked about the other protesters at the rally, Horner said he saw most of them during the interview and training for the rally.
“Almost all of the people I was protesting with I had seen at my interview and training class. At the rally, talking with some of them, I learned they only paid Latinos $500, Muslims $600 and African Americans $750. I don’t think they were looking for any Asians. Women and children were paid half of what the men got and illegals received $300 across the board. I think I was paid more than the other protesters because I was white and had taken classes in street fighting and boxing a few years back”