Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted out to all “the so-called ‘A’ list” celebrities he says who are trying to score tickets to attend his inauguration.
“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration,” he tweeted. “But look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”
The so-called "A" list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
Not surprisingly, few celebrities have confirmed — at least publicly — that they would want to perform at Trump’s inauguration next month, and all indications are that — as with the Republican National Convention in July — he is running into trouble booking the entertainment.
In fact, contrary to his tweet, according to The Wrap citing a source with knowledge of the matter, Trump is so displeased with his team’s inability to lock in A-list talent for his inauguration events that he has ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers.
Last month, a member of his transition team claimed that Elton John had agreed to perform at the inauguration, but a publicist for the legendary singer told the New York Times that he “will NOT be performing.” Even Kanye West, who made an appearance at Trump Tower for a meeting with the President-elect is not performing according to Trump’s inaugural committee.
Mark Burnett, who produces ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ with Trump, has been overseeing the entertainment for the inauguration festivities, and has brought with him Suzanne Bender, a former ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and ‘American Idol’ booker, in order to try to put an end to the ‘freeze-out’ in D.C.
“Trump is very unhappy,” the source told The Wrap. “Bender has been tasked with salvaging this … it’s a Hail Mary.”
“It’s coming directly from the principal,” he said, referring to the President-elect himself. Trump’s team officially is denying having any issues booking talent. However, the same denials came during the campaign before Scott Baio was announced as one of the attractions.
“First class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events,” Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee said in an email to The Wrap. “The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy. We will be releasing further details at the appropriate time.”
However, Epshteyn, not know for being straightforward, seems to be speaking in contrary to all facts. The Trump transition team has been struggling for weeks to secure A-list talent for the inauguration celebration. The only person confirmed to perform so far is Jackie Evancho, a 16 year old former ‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant, who is set to sing the national anthem before Trump takes his oath of office.
Performers who have officially refused to perform at the events include Elton John, Garth Brooks, and opera star Andrea Bocelli. According to The Wrap’s source, many of those approached have said that they do not want to “normalize” Trump’s presidency.