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Politics The Trump admin tried and failed to recruit sporting giants like David Beckham, Serena Williams, and Conor McGregor for an ill-fated coronavirus ad campaign

15:40  30 october  2020
15:40  30 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Conor McGregor, David Beckham, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: David Beckham and Conor McGregor were asked to appear in Trump's ad campaign. Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Pool/Steve Granitz © Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Pool/Steve Granitz David Beckham and Conor McGregor were asked to appear in Trump's ad campaign. Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Pool/Steve Granitz
  • Donald Trump's administration tried and failed tried and failed to recruit sporting giants like David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, and Conor McGregor for an ill-fated $300 million coronavirus advertising campaign ahead of the election.
  • POLITICO reports the taxpayer-funded campaign, which will no longer run before November 3, was designed to "defeat despair" about COVID-19.
  • Other sports stars asked to be involved included Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, and James Harden.
  • The campaign, headed by Michael Caputo, is currently under review amid accusations it was to be used to help Trump win votes.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump's administration tried and failed tried and failed to recruit sporting giants like David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, and Conor McGregor for an ill-fated $300 million coronavirus advertising campaign ahead of the election.

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POLITICO reports the taxpayer-funded campaign, which it says will no longer run before November 3, was designed to "defeat despair" about COVID-19.

Michael Caputo, who was hand selected by Trump to lead the operation, had also suggested framing the campaign around "helping the president."

The campaign was expected to focus heavily on video interviews between celebrities and administration officials discussing the coronavirus outbreak and Trump's response to the crisis.

At least 274 celebrities, including Beckham, Hamilton, and McGregor, were vetted for their stances on gay rights, gun control, and the 2016 election before being asked to participate.

Fellow sports stars Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, James Harden, Ronda Rousey, Tito Ortiz, Mariano Rivera, Rob Gronkowski, Shaun White, and Corey LaJoie were also asked to be involved.

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Johnson declined, while the rest had yet to respond at the time the document was produced.

Many of the entries on the document included notes on the stars, such as noting that McGregor has publicly backed Trump in the past and was "arrested for sexual assault/exposure allegation in Sept 2020."

Other notes included that Williams could appeal to the African American demographic, and that Beckham has "no specific political or criminal history."

Beside Ronda Rousey's name, there is a note saying: "Publicly supported Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders for 2016 election. Anti-feminist view at times. Arrested during WWE event in 2019."

The "arrest" described occurred during Wrestlemania 35, and was not real, but merely part of the WWE show.

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) originally defended the campaign, saying, according to POLITICO: "There is no room for political spin in the messages and materials designed by HHS to help Americans make informed decisions about the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 and flu."

Serena Williams' daughter is starting her tennis career with a new instructor who has no clue who her mom is

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However, HHS secretary Alex Azar has since ordered a review, with a spoke person for the organization telling POLITICO Azar was not aware of Caputo's close involvement.

"The review is ongoing," an HHS spokesperson said. "The plan has always been to only use materials reviewed by a department-wide team of experts including scientists from CDC who will ensure the latest scientific information is used to provide important public health, therapeutic and vaccine information."

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