A long clip but worth your time, especially since James O’Keefe’s promising more this week. You’ll need to know the cast of players now so you’re up to speed for the next video.
Most of this is devoted to introducing you to the glutinous mass of liberal organizations that work with — sort of — the Clinton campaign and the DNC to protest Republican events. One of the open questions here, and key to any legal issue, is whether the campaign itself is coordinating with the Super PACs who are allegedly involved in these activities. Campaigns are strictly barred by law from contact with PACs; maybe there’s more to come about that in the next videos, but for now it’s clear at least that there’s some chain of command to all of this and that the DNC is involved in some astroturfing. (“Astroturf” refers to political protests that are designed to look like they were organized by regular grassroots people but are secretly orchestrated by professional political actors.) The key figure here is activist Scott Foval, who describes the various sleazy tactics he uses to send agitators into Republican events — often with the hope that a fight will break out. Ideally you’ll be attacked, he tells one undercover recruit in the first few minutes of the vid. Later he boasts about using mentally ill homeless people to agitate and then rewarding them later with pay and a chance to get clean. It’s all about “bird-dogging,” creating a sense of anarchy at Trump events that’ll feed the media narrative that Trump’s fans are unhinged. One thing he doesn’t describe, though, unless I missed it, is actually initiating violence. What he’s talking about is baiting people at Trump’s rallies — wear a conspicuous “Planned Parenthood” t-shirt to an event, ask Trump an uncomfortable question when he comes over to fans in line to say hi, and then see if anyone reacts by getting pushy. That’s another obvious possibility for the next videos. Did Foval say at any point that he’s sending people in to start fights by throwing the first punch? There’s an enormous difference, obviously, between forcing a Trump supporter to defend himself physically and expecting a physical confrontation by expressing yourself verbally.
The highlight, I think, is DNC operative “Aaron Black” admitting at around 9:30 that the left-wing protests that turned into a famous melee outside one of Trump’s events in Chicago this past March was a DNC production. The fact that that incident was astroturf isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that the DNC ever would have thought that violence outside a Trump rally would hurt Trump more than help him. He’s an authoritarian candidate who preaches law and order; I remember watching the DNC’s stooges shutting down his event that night live on CNN and wondering how many undecided voters would decide that Trump is exactly the sort of president we need to prevent this sort of anarchy. Democrats must have come to the same conclusion later because, apart from an even uglier violent protest at a Trump event in San Jose, California, in June, there haven’t been many major clashes at Trump rallies this summer and fall. Maybe, ironically, Foval and his superiors belatedly came to the conclusion that his brand of agitation was destined to backfire this year and toned it down a bit in recent months. We’ll know more when the next tape emerges.