Fox News ignored a report from Mother Jones revealing that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, “profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here.” The report got attention from MSNBC and CNN, where it was discussed as a “particularly awkward” point of hypocrisy for Trump ahead of his speech on immigration.
Mother Jones published the report, titled “Former Models For Donald Trump’s Agency Say They Violated Immigration Rules And Worked Illegally, on August 30, one day before Trump is scheduled to give a policy speech on immigration. According to the report, one model who was represented by Trump Model Management said that the agency is “the most crooked agency I’ve ever worked for, and I’ve worked for quite a few.” Another model added that “Trump has been fooling American voters with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, given that his own agency had engaged in the practices he has denounced.” Mother Jones also reported that the models “said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting”:
Two of the former Trump models said Trump's agency encouraged them to deceive customs officials about why they were visiting the United States and told them to lie on customs forms about where they intended to live. Anna said she received a specific instruction from a Trump agency representative: “If they ask you any questions, you're just here for meetings.”
Organized efforts to evade laws regulating immigrant work were added by Congress, according to the American Bar Association, to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in 1996 outlawing “any act that violates section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (entitled 'Bringing in and harboring certain aliens'), provided that the act is done for financial gain.”
In the 24 hours after the report was published, CNN and MSNBC devoted several segments to the allegations, highlighting the discrepancies between Trump’s immigration proposals and the ways his own business practices reportedly abused the immigration system. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Trump’s running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence if the report “point[s] out the hypocrisy” of Trump’s call to end or place severe restrictions on the H-1B visa program. CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg pointed out that the story highlighted “some inconsistencies between what Donald Trump is saying and what he's actually done in his business career.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called the report “particularly awkward,” given that Trump is “trying to reclaim what’s supposedly [his] signature issue, right, [his] hardline stance on illegal immigrants.”
Fox News did not cover the report or its findings in the 24 hour period after it was published.