The Internal Revenue Service spent approximately $10,000 to create a video parody of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” to show at a 2011 conference held by the Service’s Small Business/Self-Employed Division (SB/SE), according to a report from the House Means and Ways Committee.
The video features a group of IRS employees, whose names were redacted, impersonating contestants on the program and one impersonating its host, Trump.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit report in June that focused on a conference that the SB/SE Division had held in August 2010. The conference, held in Anaheim, cost the taxpayers $4,133,183 and was attended by around 2600 employees.
The report said the IRS spent $50,187 for videos, which included a Star Trek parody featuring and a parody of the song “Cupid Shuffle,” both of which featured IRS employees.
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“The Star Trek video was approximately 5 minutes and 40 seconds long and featured SB/SE Division executives in Star Trek costumes on a mock set of the Starship Enterprise,” said the IG.
“In addition, a video entitled ‘SB/SE Shuffle’ was produced featuring 15 SB/SE Division executives and managers dancing on a stage,” said the IG report. “This video was 2 minutes and 52 seconds long. This video was shown during the conference and ‘was designed to engage managers and help facilitate a connection between executives and managers.’”
The Apprentice spoof was created for an SB/SE conference held in 2011, according to the Ways and Means Committee. The video shows a group of IRS employees sitting around a boardroom table being questioned by another IRS employee impersonating Donald Trump.
The Trump in the video questions a female contestant who interrupts him after two other IRS employees are unable explain this episode’s “assignment.” She then explains: “Our project was how to have an effective CPE [Continuing Professional Education session] for SB/SE leaders without spending a lot of travel money.”