WASHINGTON, D.C. — The veterans group that is trying to force swing-state Republican lawmakers to “disavow” Donald Trump is actually being propped up by the George Soros-funded pro-Democrat advocacy group MoveOn.org.
Common Defense PAC has a simple mission statement: “As veterans, we swore to protect the rights of every American. We continue to fulfill this promise by standing against Donald Trump.” Its “leadership team” page on its website lists sixteen military veterans with no contact information for them.
On its Facebook page, the PAC features a video from a different super PAC in which a mainstream reporter asks Nevada congressman Joe Heck if he trusts Trump having the nuclear codes.
“Watch this. Share it. Then sign the petition to tell Congressman Heck to disavow Donald Trump,” says Common Defense PAC, with the link to the petition: fornevadasfuture.com/heck.
But the petition is actually a MoveOn.org petition called “Joe Heck: Disavow Donald Trump.”
MoveOn.org is a George Soros-backed organization that supported Bernie Sanders but now appears to have flipped in a bid to take down Clinton’s Republican rival.
Common Defense PAC shared one of its own anti-Trump video ads, which has a Common Defense PAC logo on it at the end, right underneath a URL link to a MoveOn.org petition called “Senator Portman: Disavow Donald Trump.”
The PAC routinely promotes the Twitter hashtag #VetsAgainstTrump, which is also promoted routinely by MoveOn.org. MoveOn.org’s Political Action arm has also put out advertising for the #VetsAgainstTrump hashtag.
The Common Defense PAC logo also shows up on an image on the web page for a Thunderclap campaign called #StandwithVets: #DumpTrump.” The campaign had a social media reach of more than 4.5 million people and was supported by actor Mark Ruffalo and leftist pundit Van Jones. MoveOn.org was listed as the organizer of the Thunderclap campaign.
MoveOn.org and Common Defense PAC worked together on a live protest to pressure John McCain to “un-endorse Donald J. Trump.” ThinkProgress reported on August 4 that veterans “came to the Capitol to deliver McCain a petition, organized by progressive group MoveOn.org in conjunction with veterans group Common Defense PAC, calling for him to revoke his support for the Republican presidential nominee.”
So who, exactly, is behind Common Defense PAC?
Common Defense PAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission at a P.O. Box in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The group’s treasurer is Jonathan Matthew Smucker, a Berkeley doctoral student, activist, and radical writer who did not return a request for comment for this report.
The PAC’s July quarterly filing report with the FEC only lists one donor: a Baltimore IT consultant named Marjorie Roswell who gave $20,000 on June 30.
Perry O’Brien is the group’s director. O’Brien is a longtime left-wing activist. His Iraq Veterans Against the War bio describes him:
Perry O’Brien served as a medic in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division and was discharged as a conscientious objector in 2004. For several years he ran peace-out.com, a website providing support for other soldiers seeking to become conscientious objectors. He has been an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and was a key organizer of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan.
Perry O’Brien personally started a MoveOn.org petition called “Tell GOP leaders to disavow Trump and his attacks on veterans.” The petition, which has 121,242 signatures as of this writing, is “To be delivered to Sen. John McCain, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Paul Ryan, and all GOP leaders.”
O’Brien did not return a request for comment for this report.