Trump campaign manager discussed using facial recognition at rallies to analyze reaction of supporters

Trump campaign manager discussed using facial recognition at rallies to analyze reaction of supporters
© Getty

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE’s 2020 campaign manager Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE reportedly discussed using facial recognition technology at Trump’s campaign rallies to analyze reactions from supporters in event crowds, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Parscale discussed the move with political operatives, but he was told by at least one company that the technology is not reliable yet, according to people familiar with the conversations, the Journal reported.

A campaign official denied that Parscale ever pursued the technology.


The Trump administration has utilized other technology at campaign rallies, including collecting millions of phone numbers, email addresses and other personal information from rally attendants when they register for tickets or sign up for text alerts. 

The Trump team reportedly uses the data to look up the rally attendees’ political registrations and the elections in which they have voted. They cross-reference it with the data on the attendee’s consumer habits, which is collected by the Republican Party to forecast how likely each attendee is to vote in 2020 and who they may support, campaign officials told the Journal.

A smartphone app that is set to be released will also reportedly offer supporters prizes like expedited entries into rallies, in exchange for giving contact information for friends who may support the president.

“Right now, in big cities, we’re walking out with up to 100,000 new phone numbers,” Parscale said, the Journal reported. “That’s 100,000 people I can send a text message to on Election Day.”

The Journal also reported that Trump himself lobbied to bring Cabinet members to his June rally in Orlando, Fla. The outlet said that acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDemocrats file brief against Trump, 'the Framers' worst nightmare' Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Trump trial poses toughest test yet for Roberts MORE warned the president about potential violations of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from participating in political activities under their official titles. 

Trump responded “I’m in charge of the Hatch Act” in a meeting with top aides and accused Mulvaney of being “weak,” according to the Journal.

The Hill has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.