Executives from the giant public relations firm Edelman went to Florida in May to pitch a potential client: a private prisons company with contracts from the Trump administration to run immigrant detention centers, reports The New York Times.

The Times added that the “GEO Group, a multibillion-dollar business based in Boca Raton, was being battered by negative media attention in the uproar over reports that the United States was separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border. Lawmakers were demanding access to detention facilities.

“The Edelman team, which included a former Trump administration spokeswoman, proposed to reshape the GEO Group’s public image by “proactively correcting the record” with a new narrative “that tells the relevant stories directly to stakeholders,” according to a presentation document reviewed by The New York Times.

“After landing the job, Edelman was slated to start work in July. But employees at the firm objected to the contract, and Edelman dropped the GEO Group account.

“According to several employees, Edelman reconsidered because of concerns that news of its relationship with the prison company would be leaked, leaving one of the world’s leading public relations firms with a potential public relations crisis.”

The Times report stated that “Lisa Ross, the president of Edelman’s office in Washington, helped set up the presentation in Florida, according to a person who participated in meetings where the pitch was discussed. The person added that one of the Edelman employees who had delivered the pitch was Lindsay Walters, who joined the company in April after serving as a deputy press secretary in the White House. Ms. Ross and Ms. Walters did not respond to a request for comment.”

More here.

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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