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These pro-Trump YouTube stars were quietly paid by the Trump campaign
YouTube stars Diamond and Silk have made names for themselves as pro-Trump personalities. But a Gizmodo investigation reveals that the pair had help building that image—from the Trump campaign itself.
On Aug. 7, the Commerce Department posted a now-deleted photo on Twitter of Diamond and Silk visiting the department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), where they discussed “discuss how to grow their business and build their brand.”
As Gizmodo’s Dell Cameron reports, the meeting was set up by Chris Garcia, head of the MBDA, who previously worked for the Trump campaign. (Disclosure: Cameron previously worked for the Daily Dot.)
Diamond and Silk primarily post vlogs about politics to YouTube, which presumably provides advertising revenue. They also have a store on their website, which currently includes just two items: a pair of “Trump” pins.
Questioned about the relationship between Trump and Diamond and Silk, whom the president said at the time had become “very famous and very rich,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told ABC News in April said the duo “have never been paid by the campaign, which you can verify in our FEC reports.” The spokesperson also said there was “no connection” between Diamond and Silk and Ace Specialties, a firm the Trump campaign paid $2 million for promotional merchandise.
However, an amended filing the Trump campaign submitted to the Federal Election Commission reveals that this was not entirely true. Diamond and Silk had, in fact, been paid $1,274.94 for “field consulting.”
Now, isn’t that rich?
Read the full Gizmodo report here.
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.