A Democratic operative working with a group assisting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is “stepping back” after remarks made in an undercover video suggested that he and other officials enlisted people to incite violence at Donald Trump’s campaign events.
In a Tuesday statement, Robert Creamer said he would no longer be assisting the Democratic National Committee with Clinton’s campaign in order to avoid becoming a “distraction.” Speaking on behalf of his organization, Democracy Partners, Creamer dismissed the conversations captured on video by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas as “hypothetical.”
“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,” he said.
Creamer claimed “none of the schemes described in the conversations ever took place.”
In the edited undercover video, Scott Foval, the national field director of Americans United for Change, is heard discussing ways to incite Trump supporters.
“It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf***er.”
“I mean, honestly, it’s not hard to get some of these a**holes to pop off. It’s a matter of showing up, to want to get into their rally, in a Planned Parenthood T-shirt. Or ‘Trump is a Nazi,’ you know. You can message to draw them out, and draw them out to punch you.”
Foval also praised Creamer as “diabolical.” Foval was promptly fired by Americans United for Change after the release of the video and is no longer coordinating with Democracy Partners.
Clinton campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas criticized O’Keefe’s tactics, but also admitted “some of the language and tactics referenced in the video are troubling.” Like Creamer, Petkanas suggested the comments were part of a “theory or proposal never executed.”
O’Keefe, a conservative activist, has been accused by critics of using misleading edits in his videos to ensnare his targets. CNN has more on some of his past legal trouble:
In 2010, O’Keefe plead guilty to a misdemeanor for breaking into former Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office to tamper with her phone.
In 2013, O’Keefe had to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, after O’Keefe and fellow activist Hannah Giles allegedly solicited advice from ACORN workers on setting up a brothel and evading taxes.
Watch CNN’s full report below:
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 19, 2016