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"USA Freedom Kids" sue Trump campaign

The three young girls who captivated audiences at a January Donald Trump rally in Florida with sparkly outfits and a nationalistic tune have a message for the GOP nominee’s campaign: it’s time to pay up.

The manager for the “USA Freedom Kids,” Jeff Popick, followed through this week on threats to sue the Trump campaign over what Popick says is a breach of agreement over payment for the performances. The group is seeking up to $15,000 in damages in the suit, according to filings obtained by The Daily Beast.

The USA Freedom Kids’ performance, including a song in which the girls sing, “President Donald Trump knows how to make America great,” quickly made the rounds on the internet after the rally. “Ameritude! (USA)! American pride! (USA!)” goes one of the song’s refrains.

After their first performance went viral in January, Popick—who is the father of the youngest girl in the group—said the Trump campaign reportedly agreed to two other performances from the USA Freedom Kids. The first performance never took place, according to Popick; he asked for $2,500 in payment for the second performance, but the campaign instead offered up a table at which they could sell merchandise instead.

“We are not able to pay the girls or cover travel,” Stephanie Scruggs, a regional field director wrote to Popick in an email being used in the suit. “However we have coordinated with the event space to allow the girls to set up a table and pre-sell their album, shirts, ect if this is helpful to you.”

At the event, however, Popick alleged that the campaign did not set up a table for the group, and that security would not allow them to bring their merchandise inside.

The Trump campaign later offered Popick a chance for the girls to perform in Des Moines, which required flights and a long drive for them—only to find out once they had already flown to Chicago and begun their drive to Des Moines that they were no longer needed. The campaign said they could still attend the event and would save them seats, but only on the condition that they would not speak to the press. 

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.