Democratic strategist Robert Creamer who has been campaigning for Hilary Clinton has resigned after secretly recorded video appeared to show operatives admitting they hired provocateurs to infiltrate Donald Trump rallies and incite violence using a tactic called 'bird-dogging'.
In the video, Democratic operatives appear to outline the training and paying of agents to stage fake grassroots protests and create a sense of 'anarchy' at Donald Trump events.
Scott Foval, who was National Field Director for a non-profit organisation named Americans United for Change, tells the undercover reporter: "The [Clinton] campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval Group, The Foval Group goes and executes the sh**."
The group which pays Foval, Democracy Partners, is run by Creamer who plead guilty to tax violations and bank fraud in 2005. His wife is Democratic Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky.
Creamer tells the undercover reporter: "And the Democratic Party apparatus and the people from the campaign, the Clinton campaign and my role with the campaign, is to manage all that. Wherever Trump and Pence are gonna be we have events."
In statement, following the news that he is standing down, Creamer said: "I am unwilling to become a distraction to the important task of electing Hilary Clinton, and defeating Donald Trump in the upcoming election.
"As a result I have indicated to the Democratic National Committee that I am stepping back from my responsibilities working with the campaign."
Mr Creamer said the tactics discussed in the video were 'hypothetical conversations'.
"We regret the unprofessional and careless hypothetical conversations that were captured on hidden cameras of a regional contractor for our firm, and he is no longer working with us.
"While none of the schemes described in the conversations every took place, these conversations do not at all reflect the values of Democracy Partners."
Democracy Partners said the video was a "well-funded, systematic spy operation that is the modern day equivalent of the Watergate burglars."
Meanwhile Foval was fired from his job at Americans United for Change earlier in the week.
Spokesman Brad Woodhouse said: "Americans United for Change has always operated according to the highest ethical and legal standards. Scott Foval is no longer associated with Americans United for Change."
In the video Foval points to Shirley Teeter, a 69-year-old woman on an oxygen tank, who was allegedly assaulted at a North Carolina Trump rally.
"She was one of our activists." Foval explains that the woman had been 'trained to bird dog' as a part of his operation.
The woman claims she was punched by 73-year-old Trump supporter. His attorney claims she touched him on the shoulder, then fell to the ground as he turned around.
Foval tells the reporter: "When they’re outside the rally, the media will cover it no matter where it happens. The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic.
"I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these a**holes to pop off. It’s a matter of showing up, to want to get into the rally, in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Or, Trump is a Nazi, you know. You can message to draw them out, and draw them to punch you.
"The whole point is that we know Trump’s people will freak the f*** out, his security team will freak out, and his supporters will lose their sh**."
"If you’re there and you’re protesting and you do these actions, you will be attacked at Trump rallies. That’s what we want".
Foval added: "We have to be really careful because, because what we don’t need is for it to show up on CNN that the DNC paid for X people to, that’s not going to happen.”
Use of homeless and mentally ill
"I’m saying we have mentally ill people, that we pay to do sh**, make no mistake,” says Foval in the video.
"Over the last twenty years, I’ve paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I’ve also taken them for dinner, and I’ve also made sure they had a hotel, and a shower. And I put them in a program. Like I’ve done that.
"But the reality is, a lot of people especially our union guys. A lot of our union guys…they’ll do whatever you want. They’re rock and roll. When I need to get something done in Arkansas, the first guy I call is the head of the AFL-CIO down there, because he will say, ‘What do you need?’ And I will say, I need a guy who will do this, this and this. And they find that guy. And that guy will be like, Hell yeah, let’s do it."
"It doesn't matter what the friggin' legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf***er," Foval adds.
In another clip Foval explains how trained activists are sent to Trump to create a sense of "anarchy" - a practice referred to in the video as 'bird-dogging'.
FOVAL: We train up our people, wherever they are, to — and I work with a network of groups, we train them up on how to get themselves into a situation on tape, on camera, that we can use later.
Project Veritas: So some of this, so I probably know your work.
FOVAL: I know you do. Everybody does. But —
PV: You mean like a situation where it’s sort of like a —
FOVAL: You remember the Iowa State Fair thing where Scott Walker grabbed the sign out of the dude’s hand and then the dude gets kind of roughed up right in front of the stage right there on camera?
FOVAL: That was all us. The guy that got roughed up is my counterpart, who works for Bob [Creamer].
PV: And that was like, storyboarded? Him getting roughed up like that?
FOVAL: We scenarioed it.
PV: And so you, like leant yourselves to that situation and it happened. A self-fulfilling prophecy.
FOVAL: We not only leant ourselves, we planted multiple people in that front area around him and in the back to make sure there wasn’t just a action that happened up front, there was also a reaction that happened out back. So the cameras, when they saw it, saw double angles of stuff like, they saw what happened up front, and they saw the reaction of people out back.
PV: That’s f***king brilliant. That’s brilliant.
FOVAL: And then the reporters had people to talk to.
Aaron Black and Zulema Rodriguez
Two of Creamer's staff in the video, Zulema Rodriguez and Aaron Black (real name Aaron Minter) appear to take credit for organising the March Chicago protest which made Trump cancel his rally and left two police officers injured.
Rodriguez says: "So, [Black] and I did the Chicago Trump event where we shut down like all the yeah. She adds: "I just had a call with the campaign and the DNC, every day at one o’clock."
According to the Federal Election Commission data, Rodriguez was paid $1,610.24 by the Hillary For America campaign on February 29, two weeks before the violent Chicago protests. She was also paid $30 for a phone.
Aaron Black, who was previously arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests, is heard in the video saying: "I’m basically deputy rapid response director for the DNC for all things Trump on the ground.
"Yeah, and nobody is really supposed to know about me.”
"So the Chicago protest when they shut all that, that was us. It was more him [Bob Creamer] than me, but none of this is supposed to come back to us, because we want it coming from people, we don’t want it to come from the party.
"So if we do a protest and it’s a DNC protest, right away the press is going to say partisan. But if I’m in there co-ordinating with all the troops on the ground and sort of playing the field general but they are the ones talking to the cameras, then it’s actually people.
"But if we send out press advisories with DNC on them and Clinton campaign it just doesn’t have that same effect."
In a previous Project Veritas video release a Democratic electoral commissioner appears to admit campaign officials loaded up buses full of illegal voters and went from "poll site to poll site".
Response from the Clinton campaign
The Clinton campaign has denied that it has incited violence at Trump campaign events or helped plant rogue protesters.
"While Project Veritas has been known to offer misleading video out of context, some of the language and tactics referenced in the video are troubling even as a theory or proposal never executed," Zac Petkanas, a spokesman for Clinton's campaign, said in a statement.
"We support the Democratic National Committee's appropriate action addressing this matter and look forward to continue waging a campaign of ideas worthy of our democratic process."
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