Donald Trump did not ask Andrea Bocelli to perform at his inauguration in January, inauguration committee Chairman Tom Barrack said Tuesday.
"Bocelli and his wife have been friends of Trump from the very beginning ... Bocelli is loyal to him as an individual," Barrack said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The Bocelli's came to him and said, 'Look, if it would be helpful to you, if you would like us to perform, we would consider it.' [But] Donald said, 'You don't need to. We're not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You're my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.'"
According to the New York Post, Bocelli was personally approached by Trump to perform at the inauguration. Barrack added that the media twisted the situation when they reported that Bocelli declined to perform at the inauguration after he was trolled on social media.
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"It never got to, 'Can you, will you, would you' with either of them. They're just great friends. And that was it," Barrack said.
TheWrap exclusively learned last week that Trump's team is struggling so hard to book A-list performers for his inaugural festivities that two talent bookers said they were offered ambassadorships if they could deliver marquee names. The inauguration team has its sights set on top-tier talents like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Aretha Franklin, and were willing to pay steep fees for the performers.
A meeting between Trump and Kanye West spurred speculation last week that the troubled rapper might perform. Also last week, news broke that Trump's team had managed to enlist 16-year-old former "America's Got Talent" star Jackie Evancho for the inauguration.
A representative for Bocelli has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.
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