Dem activists lose jobs after O’Keefe sting
Edited video shows operative bragging about tactics to disrupt Trump’s rallies
Two little-known Democratic political operatives have left their jobs after video investigations by conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas found them entertaining dark notions about how to win elections.
The secretly recorded, selectively edited video footage includes Scott Foval, a Wisconsin-based liberal operative, bragging about deploying troublemakers at rallies held by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Foval was laid off Monday by Americans United for Change, where he had been national field director.
The other figure, Robert Creamer — a longtime liberal activist based in Washington and the husband of Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky — said Tuesday night that he was “stepping back” from the work he was doing for the unified Democratic campaign for party nominee Hillary Clinton.
The moves came after coverage, led by conservatives and social media, of O’Keefe’s video series “Rigging the Election.”
The Democratic Party and Clinton’s campaign denounced the tactics described in the footage. Both said the activities described never took place.
Project Veritas promised to release additional videos ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Foval is portrayed in the footage as boasting about his connections to the party and the Clinton campaign, and claiming to have arranged for people to incite violence at Trump rallies. Sometimes those people are union workers, he said, and sometimes they’re mentally ill and homeless people.
“I mean, honestly it’s not hard to get some of these (expletive) to pop off,” Foval is shown on the video as saying. Conservative activist James O’Keefe and Project Veritas often target Democratic groups.
At one point, Foval appears to say the hired agitators should have their medical and legal bills covered.
As with much of the video’s content, it’s impossible to say with certainty what Foval meant, because the video is edited in a way so that it’s not clear what led to the comment.
Foval told The Associated Press in an email that O’Keefe’s associates had set him up.
“This scheme to cast legitimate organizing activities as a sinister plot is nothing but a ruse,” he said. “Despite our attempts to redirect the conversation and actions towards posi- tive, results-oriented, legal and ethical political organizing, O’Keefe’s crew of impostors continued to walk down a path of deception and manipulation.”
O’Keefe and Project Veritas have a track record of t argeting Democratic groups, often by hiding their identities and using hidden cameras.
A previous O’Keefe sting led to the demise of ACORN, a community organizing group that O’Keefe portrayed as engaged in criminal activity via hidden camera videos.
A 2011 sting of NPR executives led to two resignations. Subsequent investi- gations found discrepancies between how the undercover j ournalists approached their targets and how they packaged what the targets said.
In the latter case, thenNPR executive Ron Schiller quoted a Republican who viewed tea party activists as “racist”; the edited clip made it appear that Schiller held that opinion.
O’Keefe was convicted in 2010 as part of a scheme to illegally make recordings at the office of then-Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat.
In this case, Foval appears to have been several steps removed from the