Fact-Check: Yes, the Hillary Clinton Campaign Used Activists to Disrupt Trump Rallies

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

In answering a question about fitness for the presidency, Republican nominee Donald Trump claimed that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid protesters to “be violent” and to “cause fights.”


James O’Keefe’s recent video sting with Project Veritas revealed that contractors for the Hillary Clinton campaign used trained activists — in some cases paid, in other cases volunteers — to disrupt Donald Trump rallies. The activists were used to “cause fights,” as Trump said, with the goal of creating “anarchy” around the candidate. 

Trump went a bit too far in describing the tactic, however. He said:

Just like if you look at what came out today on the clips where I was wondering what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence? She’s the one and Obama that caused the violence. They hired people — they paid them $1,500, and they’re on tape saying be violent, cause fights, do bad things.

And I’ll tell you what, in particular in Chicago, people were hurt and people could have been killed in that riot. 

It is important to note that the activists were not told to “be violent,” but rather to incite violence. And the figure of $1,500 appears to refer to one case, not to the general tactic used.

Clinton’s defenders might claim she did not know anything about the tactics being used, but that defense does not suffice. The consultants who carried out the tactic, centered around Robert Creamer and his Democracy Partners organization, told O’Keefe’s undercover investigators that they had set up a “double-blind” system so that Clinton would not have to know directly about any particular action being taken on her behalf, but Creamer appeared to admit on video that Clinton had general knowledge about their activities.


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