Did Hillary Clinton's Campaign Start Violence At Trump Rallies? Donald Made Some Massive Claims
At the final presidential debate on Wednesday night, Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of inciting violence at his rallies. When moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to respond to the sexual assault allegations recently brought against him by nine women, Trump suggested that Clinton's campaign may have put them up to it, connecting this theory with allegations about incitements of violence at his rallies: "I was wondering, what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence," Trump said. "She's the one, and [Barack] Obama, who caused the violence. They hired people. They paid them $1,500." One of Trump's Chicago rallies was canceled in March due to a spat of violence.
Clinton didn't respond to Trump's allegation during the debate. But her campaign has responded to the news story to which Trump was referring. On Tuesday, Robert Creamer, who has worked with the Clinton campaign through the organization Democracy Partners, announced that he would no longer do so following the release of an edited video by conservative activist James O'Keefe that allegedly shows Creamer and fellow operatives discussing ways to incite violence at rallies.
Creamer denied the claims of the video, saying, as CNN reported, "contrary to the outrageous claims of the notorious right wing blogger James O'Keefe, we have always adhered to the highest standards of transparency and legality in our work for the DNC [Democratic National Committee]." However, he chose to resign because he is "unwilling to become a distraction to the important task of electing Hilary Clinton."
The video featured a clip from an interview of Scott Foval, who was the national field director for Americans United for Change, which has worked with Democracy Partners, speaking in support of "conflict engagement...in the lines at Trump rallies." Foval appears to claim in the video that he has hired people to start fights at the rallies. He was fired in the wake of the video's release, and Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile decried his statement, as did Zac Petkanas, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, saying, "some of the language and tactics referenced in the video are troubling even as a theory or proposal never executed."
As CNN reported, O'Keefe paid $100,000 in 2013 to settle a suit brought against him by a former employee of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) after releasing heavily-edited videos alleging wrongdoing that led to firings and the eventual disbanding of the organization. New York and California prosecutors were unable to find evidence that ACORN had committed any wrongdoing.
There is no solid evidence that Foval's purported claims from the new video are true, or that Obama or Clinton had any knowledge of the tactics he appeared to support in the video.