The father of one member of U.S.A. Freedom Kids, the patriotic preteen girl group who briefly became a viral sensation after performing at a Donald Trump rally, is planning to sue the Republican presidential nominee over broken promises allegedly made by the Trump campaign.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Jeff Popick, father of the youngest USA Freedom Kid and writer of “Freedom’s Call,” explained why he’s now seeking restitution from the same campaign that helped make the girl group a viral hit. The trio initially performed their song at a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida, and in lieu of a $2,500 payment, Popick instead struck a deal where he’d be given a table at the rally where he could sell the USA Freedom Kids music. When he arrived at the rally, however, there was no table waiting for him.
Popick then attempted to be remunerated after spending money on promotional materials for the non-existent rally table, only to get stonewalled by the campaign. However, the breaking point came after the U.S.A. Freedom Kids were recruited to perform at a last-minute Trump rally in Des Moines, with Popick paying for the group’s journey from Florida to Iowa. When they arrived at the rally, the group was told they would not be performing at the event. Popick claims he was never repaid for travel costs and hotel.
“This is not a billion-dollar lawsuit,” Popick told the Washington Post, adding that there was no written agreement between himself and the campaign. “I’m doing this because I think they have to do the right thing. And if this means having to go through the court system to enforce them doing the right thing, then that’s what I have to do. I’m not looking to do battle with the Trump campaign, but I have to show my girls that this is the right thing.”
In emails with the Trump campaign from early July, Popick asked for either a performance at the Republican National Convention or “be made whole” for his losses. When neither occurred, Popick took his threat of a lawsuit to the press.
A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Despite being the latest in a long line of people and businesses suing Trump, Popick insisted that this experience hasn’t necessarily changed his vote. “At this point, my position is that I have no position, really,” Popick said. “What he’s done to my group or what he’s not done for my group doesn’t necessarily make him the best candidate, it doesn’t make him the worst candidate. I still have to mull that over. He might still be the best candidate as president of the United States — or not.”
Popick added that while he still may vote for Trump in the upcoming election, when the studio version of “Freedom’s Call” appears on USA Freedom Kids’ album this September, the song will no longer include the lyric “President Donald Trump knows how to make America great.”