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- [Narrator] The Trump campaign's officially licensed
Make America Great Again or MAGA hats,
are made here, at the Cali-Fame headwear factory
in Carson, California, just outside of Los Angeles.
- The fabric, the cord, the plastic strap,
the fabric underneath, the sweatband,
the whole hat is made here in America.
- [Narrator] The company doesn't only make MAGA hats.
It specializes in all kinds of headwear,
which it manufactures and customizes.
But the company has worked with Trump for years.
Before the campaign, Cali-Fame
made hats for Trump's golf courses.
- We've been making golf hats since the '50s.
Cali-Fame Los Angeles was one of the first
golf hat manufacturers.
- [Narrator] The red MAGA hat retails for $25.
Every purchase of a MAGA hat,
along with any other item for sale
on the Trump campaign's official website,
counts as a campaign contribution.
Around 100 employees work in the factory,
and according to an interview Brian Kennedy did
with the Los Angeles Times in 2015,
around 80% of the workforce is Latino.
And according to the Trump campaign,
all employees are verified U.S. citizens.
We didn't speak to any employees during our shoot.
- Do I look like Trump?
- [Narrator] But in 2015, MSNBC visited the factory
and reporter Jacob Soboroff spoke to some of the workers.
- When you heard that Trump,
you're gonna make the hats for Trump,
what was the first thought that went through your mind?
- Well, more work for us.
- Some of the stuff that he's said,
it's not been particularly nice to the Latino community.
When you guys hear some of that stuff, what do you think?
- I just try to ignore it.
- [Narrator] Making the hats requires a 23-step process,
much of which is done by hand.
- So the way we manufacture the hat,
the first process is spreading material.
We take it right to the embroidery machine,
and then from embroidery
we're taking it right to the sewing operation
where we're creating both the bill and the crown separately,
so that eventually we put these two parts together
by attaching the sweatband, finishing it
with the plastic strap that's made in the U.S.
Then we steam the hat, press the hat,
and we also finish the cord and glue that down
before we pack the hat.
- [Narrator] The hats are shipped to the headquarters
of Ace Specialties in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Ace is the Trump campaign's
official merchandise distributor,
and the company fulfills all orders
from the Trump campaign's website.
According to the Trump campaign,
hundreds of thousands of MAGA hats
have been sold since Trump's campaign began.
- We are one of the few American companies left making hats.
There is a need, a niche, for that American product,
and that's what we've been really striving for
the last couple of years.
It's an incredible opportunity to make this hat
for the President of the United States.
I think that this hat is an icon
for what is going on in the country
and we're really happy to make the hat for the president.
Hopefully we can keep this going.
(gentle music, sewing machines running)
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Inside The Trump MAGA Hat Factory

367 Folder Collection
Samuel published on September 10, 2018
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