Apr 26, 2018, 2:34 PM ET

Diamond and Silk say Trump campaign never paid them, FEC filing shows otherwise

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Conservative social media personalities "Diamond and Silk" repeatedly told the House Judiciary Committee under oath on Thursday “we have never been paid by the Trump campaign."

Trump campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission show that the campaign paid them 1,274.94 for "field consulting."

In an intense exchange with Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the sisters, whose real names are Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, adamantly claimed they were never paid by the Trump campaign.

When Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries followed up by informing them of the FEC filing, they said it was inaccurate – arguing the Trump campaign reimbursed them for a flight from New York to Ohio for a campaign event and that they had never provided field consulting services.

House Republicans called the sisters to the "Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms" hearing amid claims that social networks, like Facebook, have censored conservative content and favored more liberal content.

Diamond and Silk accuse Facebook of suppressing their content because of their support for President Trump. Their claim picked up traction in April when the social network notified them that their content was “unsafe.”

Facebook says the action was an "enforcement error" and the pair, and many of their 1.5 million followers, cried foul.

PHOTO: Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who produce videos under the name Diamond & Silk, testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on social networks and accusations of censoring political content in Washington, April 26, 2018.ABC News
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who produce videos under the name "Diamond & Silk," testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on social networks and accusations of censoring political content in Washington, April 26, 2018.

"It's not fair for these Giant Techs like Facebook and YouTube get to pull the rug from underneath our platform and our feet and put their foot on our neck to silence our voices," they wrote in a prepared statement for the committee.

"It's not fair for them to put a strong hold on our finances."

The pair pointed to reports from their followers of having trouble finding their video posts and pages, where the sisters routinely host chats about politics and their support for President Trump.

ABC News looked at data from Crowdtangle, a social media analytics platform owned by Facebook, which shows that total interactions on Diamond and Silk’s Facebook page were relatively steady with no significant decline during the first three months of 2018 the time they claim Facebook was censoring them.

How much the pair has made through their online brands is unclear, but they have been openly supported by the president.

PHOTO: Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who produce videos under the name Diamond & Silk, wait to testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, April 26, 2018.ABC News
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who produce videos under the name "Diamond & Silk," wait to testify in front of a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, April 26, 2018.

At a December 2015 campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump held a campaign rally in their home state and offered words of support.

“I hope you’ve monetized this,” he said, referring to their online videos.

Thursday's hearing displayed stark divides down party lines. Democrats cried foul – one congressman, Rep. Ted Lieu, deemed it "stupid and ridiculous."

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

News - Diamond and Silk say Trump campaign never paid them, FEC filing shows otherwise

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  • FearfUl CaKe fABriC

    Trãsh.

  • brotherap

    As raggedy as these two Stepin Fetchit acting broads are, this Congressional interrogation was a complete bust and waste of time. Call them down there if you have empirical evidence of wrongdoing otherwise leave their Buck and Bubbles minstrel show alone. If white folk want to pay these toads for doing their political comedy schtick what is it to Democrats.

  • option31

    Their is a difference between pay and reimbursement. ABC should know if not get one of your legal "experts" to explain it to this reporter. One is a taxable event - (pay) and other is not (reimbursement) I don't expect hacks like Jackson Lee or other politicians to know but ABC should.

  • David Battle

    They were reimbursed for their TRAVEL EXPENSES. Were they paid for their ACTUAL SERVICES? Real news says no.

  • The Outlier

    What twisted, screwed-up world do we live in that these two become a part of the national discourse on the issues facing this nation? They've had their 15 minutes, let them fade to obscurity and get on with the critical business at hand.

  • USAF Retired

    Very unprofessional responses from these 2 women. The raised voices, repeatedly interrupting Mr. Jeffries and their overall attitude was totally unnecessary. Before anyone calls me a racist, I am am African American female.

  • c.g.

    Why don't they just do what the other "unhinged" gal did who thought was being censored on YouTube.....and go attack the Facebook execs?

  • oldschool

    Liars all big and small.

  • arlincarlson

    Good-now they can be indicted for false testimony!

  • DougNJ

    So a check was cut for the two ladies but it was never received by them. 1-Who did cash the check? 2-The two ladies ought to demand from the campaign their $1.274.95 for services rendered.

  • Th3OnlyOn3

    I really wish the article would have explained who these people are before I read half way through, found out who they were, and immediately headed for the comment section since I was already wasting my time anyways.

  • Relentless

    Jackson Lee is extremely rude and should be shown no respect ever by anyone!

  • Saint Sumting

    ABC News continues to push a lie with a headline. The ladies said that they had proof in front of them that it was travel reimbursement, and not payment for services. FAKE NEWS ABC!

  • Bobbie Herald

    Only in this "Let's beat up Trump world" would this happen. The last time I checked reimbursement for travel isn't compensation for services. It's possible that it was coded wrong but the person submitting payment but if I were Diamond and Silk I would be livid about allegations that they somehow lied over 1200.00 airline payment. Give me a break.