Just moments into the year 2016, three young girls wearing flashy American flag-inspired outfits and dazzling white smiles took the stage at a Donald Trump rally.
"Cowardiiiiiice," they wailed, "Are you serious? Apologies for freedom, I can't handle this!" The performance brought national, if short-lived, attention to the USA Freedom Kids, a group of girls who perform patriotic songs and celebrate freedom "with Ameritude."
The USA Freedom Kids are back.
Jeff Popick, manager to the USA Freedom Kids and father of one freedom girl, announced on Wednesday a campaign to donate money to celebrities who have threatened to move out of the country if Trump becomes president.
"Whether they realize it or not, they've renounced America and put a price on OUR country," Popick said in a statement announcing the initiative. His list currently includes: Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham, Jon Stewart, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Raven-Symone, and Al Sharpton—but he is also prepared to collect money for others.
Ideally, the campaign will raise $1 million altogether, Popick said, or $25,000 for each celebrity who has threatened to leave the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected president in November. (Presumably, this would mean Popick expects to compile a list of 40 anti-Trump celebrities. Seems easy enough). The figure includes money for moving boxes, trucks, shipping, and one-way, first class tickets to any country that is not America.
So far, USA Freedom Kids has raised $60.
The motivation for the fund-raising campaign is simple: "Celebrities 'threatening' to leave America if Donald Trump is elected, should exercise their freedom, pursue their dream; and in the spirit of Ameritude, we want to help them do it."
In a phone interview, Popick explained that the point of the campaign isn't to support Trump and his campaign, but to call out anti-America celebrities. "I just want to stress," he told me, "this is not about people, celebrities, who are anti-Donald Trump." Instead, he said, "this is about celebrities who are so radical…that they are literally renouncing our country and turning their backs on the American people."
"The threat of leaving the country is a betrayal," he said, "in some ways."
Popick said he doesn't see why people are getting so heated about which candidate actually becomes the president. "[The candidates are all] Americans who have by and large passed the litmus test," he reasoned. "None of them could be running for president if they were criminals." A low bar for the presidency, and also possibly incorrect.
Donors to the cause will receive some perks, as well. According to the group's Go Fund Me page, someone who donates $5 gets "a free download of the USA Freedom Kids hit song, 'Freedom's Call.' Plus, an exclusive pre-sale opportunity for "VIP tickets to one of our concerts." For $1,000, "donors get everything from lower tiers plus 2 VIP tickets to our inaugural party (not affiliated in any way with Donald Trump or the Donald Trump campaign)." A steal.
Popick told me that the girls will also perform as part of the campaign. "There probably will be somewhat of a different algorithm," he said, when I asked if 100% of proceeds would actually go to celebrities.
Eligible celebrities who accept the money will have to commit to living outside the U.S. through Trump's eight-year (Popick's prediction) term. Popick said he has not been in touch with any of the celebrities in question.
Ultimately, Popick sees this as "a fun project," that will help anti-Trump celebrities "accomplish their goal."
"We want to help them move out of the country," he said, so "the rest of us can get on with loving our country."
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.