President Obama calls out #Trump at Cleveland, OH campaign rally for @HillaryClinton Oct 14, 2015 [video]

President Obama gives a spirited speech calling out Donald Trump as a phony during a Cleveland, Ohio campaign rally for Hillary Clinton while articulating how qualified Hillary Clinton is to be president of the United States of America.  Visit to locate early voting location where you live.  This is important and worth a watch. #ClintonKaine2016

Michelle Obama New Hampshire full speech for @HillaryClinton [video]

Want to hear one of the best, if not the best, political speech EVER given? The first lady, Michelle Obama, just delivered a speech about the state of the country and the abhorrent hate rhetoric that has been spewed about women and people in general. How a candidate for President of the United States cannot be fit to be President of the United States. She goes on to state how ALL women, men and children form the people of the United States.

At charity roast, Donald Trump delivered what might as well be a campaign eulogy

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the 71st Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York. (AP/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — It was supposed to be his opening joke, but it landed with such heavy bitterness that it prompted scattered, uncomfortable laughter.

“A special hello to all of you in this room who have known and loved me for many, many years. It’s true,” Trump said as he took command of the dais at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Thursday evening, wearing a white tie and a black tuxedo coat that he kept tugging at.

“The politicians,” he continued. “They’ve had me to their homes, they’ve introduced me to their children, I’ve become their best friends in many instances. They’ve asked for my endorsement, and they always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I’ve always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me.”

Over the next 15 minutes, Trump gave a speech that might as well have been a eulogy for his presidential campaign.

He joked about the size of his hands and the size of his rival Hillary Clinton’s rally crowds, then compared himself to Jesus. He noted that the debate the night before — which ended with him angrily ripping his notes — has been called “the most vicious debate in the history of politics,” prompting him to reflect: “Are we supposed to be proud of that?” He joked about prosecuting Clinton if he ever gets elected president, accused the media of working for her and brought up the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

“Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission,” Trump said, as the crowd turned on him and started to boo, something that simply doesn’t happen at lavish charity dinners at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The face of one the guests sitting on the stage behind him was suddenly struck with horror.

“Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private,” Trump said, as the booing intensified.

Trump would go on to accuse Clinton of “pretending not to hate Catholics” and mock the Clinton Foundation’s work in Haiti. At one point, he wondered aloud if the crowd was booing him or Clinton, to which someone in the crowd answered: “You!”

Campaigning used to be fun for Trump. He used to bound onto rally stages bursting with energy and a bright-eyed sense of excitement that intensified as the crowd chanted his name and cheered his every word. He used to regularly schedule press conferences, call into news shows and chat with reporters, eager to spar with them. He used to say politically incorrect things and then watch his polling numbers increase. He used to be the winner.

One year ago, Trump had nothing to lose. Back then, as the political ruling class realized that Trump was not just a summer fad and had actually sparked a political movement, he found himself being taken seriously. Pundits marveled at his instincts, and he confidently mocked his opponents for lacking his brilliance. He was surrounded by an inexperienced but devoted staff, and he was beholden to no one.

But as Trump became his party’s presumptive nominee this spring and then its nominee this summer, he suddenly had a lot to lose. He was expected to ask rich people for money, play nice with party leaders and actually win the election. There was greater scrutiny of everything he said and of his colorful past. His exuberance on the campaign trail faded, although it would occasionally reappear when he addressed a particularly rowdy rally or had a particularly good week. His campaign leadership repeatedly changed, filling with operatives who often disagreed with his instincts.

In recent days, Trump has tried to explain away his low standing in the polls as a conspiracy carried out by the media, Democrats and Republicans — not a backlash against comments that he made in 2005 about forcing himself on women sexually or the series of woman who have since accused him of doing just that. If Trump loses, it will be because he was cheated, Trump has repeatedly told his supporters, urging them to go to polling places in neighborhoods other than their own on Election Day and “watch.”

The third presidential debate on Wednesday night in Las Vegas did not help Trump’s situation, especially as he called Clinton a “nasty woman” and declined to agree to accept the results of the election. As his staff members tried to explain his comments, Trump flew to Ohio.

Ahead of a Thursday afternoon rally at a country fairgrounds facility north of Columbus, Trump tweeted a vague accusation that Clinton “was inappropriately given the debate questions.” He then did two interviews with local television stations and abruptly walked away from both. A reporter from WCMH, the local NBC affiliate, asked Trump: “Nineteen days out from the election, you’ve been labeled a racist, you’ve been called a sexist, how …”

Trump turned and started to walk away, saying: “Thank you very much.”

She asked him to respond, and Trump said: “I am the least racist person you’ve ever met.”

Trump then continued walking away, ending the interview.

During a separate interview with WBNS, a CBS affiliate, Trump was asked to respond to accusations from Karena Virginia, who said at a press conference on Thursday that Trump groped her in 1998. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, then jumped in to end the interview, which had already gone on longer than expected. Trump started to walk away and was again asked about the accusation.

“I know nothing about that,” Trump said. “No, I know nothing.”

Trump then gave a 33-minute speech before about 1,500 people in a county fairgrounds facility north of Columbus, a shorter than usual speech in front of a smaller than usual crowd.

“Seriously, the debate last night was amazing — and everybody said, I won, including every single online poll, and some had it at 90 and close to 90 percent, so that’s pretty cool,” Trump said rather halfheartedly, providing stats that are simply are not accurate.

Soon after, he was back at the Columbus airport, slowly climbing the steps to his personal jet. He was alone, holding a black umbrella as a light rain fell. There was a heaviness to his ascent.

Hours after that, Trump sat on the lavish dais, decorated with pale roses and white orchids, with his arms tightly folded as the glittering elite of New York repeatedly laughed at him. The dinner’s chairman, Alfred E. Smith IV, lashed out at Trump in a series of cutting jokes. Clinton went even further, hitting all of the topics that she knows get under Trump’s skin.

“Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a ‘four.’ Maybe a ‘five’ if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair,” Clinton said, as the crowd laughed and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani mouthed, “What?” Trump, his arms folded, cocked his head to the side and smirked, as his wife looked elegantly pained.

A few minutes later, Clinton said: “Maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day, and I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.”

Trump smiled and rocked in his seat, his face looking just slightly redder than usual.

Clinton recognized former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying it was a shame he didn’t speak because “I’m curious to hear what a billionaire has to say,” taking a swipe at Trump’s likely exaggerated net worth.

And she gave a shout-out to Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, saying: “She’s working day and night for Donald and because she’s a contractor, he’s probably not even going to pay her.” Conway, who has become subtly critical of her boss, quoted Clinton in a tweet and wrote: “A shout out from @HillaryClinton at #AlSmithDinner.”

As Clinton finished speaking, she received a standing ovation from many in the crowd. Trump clapped, then briefly stood, then sat down again, as if unsure what to do. Lip-readers caught him telling her that she did a good job. As the dinner ended, Trump shook hands with some of the others on the stage, while a line of people wanting to talk with Clinton grew. After a few minutes, Trump and his wife made their way toward the exit.

Before ducking out, Trump flashed the crowd a thumbs up.


Trump’s claim tying violence at his rallies to the Clinton campaign

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

“One of the big issues that came up last night was the fact that the Clinton campaign has paid people to disrupt, violently, our rallies, and to incite absolute total bedlam. It’s so bad, so bad. And you know, I have had occasions where we had rallies and it was so incredibly violent. I said, what’s going on over here? These were paid people by the Clinton campaign and it just came out.”
— Donald Trump, campaign rally at Delaware, Ohio, Oct. 20, 2016

“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.”
— Trump, third presidential debate, Oct. 19, 2016

Trump is referring to an online video sting by a group called Project Veritas Action, a conservative group founded by activist James O’Keefe. The majority of the first video released by the group features clips captured by a hidden camera of Scott Foval, a Democratic operative, describing the process of “conflict engagement in the lines at Trump rallies.”

Trump ties the Clinton campaign and Obama to violence at his rallies, specifically in March at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trump canceled the event after protesters clashed with supporters inside and outside of the event arena. Let’s take a look at the facts.

The Facts

The 16-minute video prominently features Foval, of the 501(c)(4) group Americans United for Change. He also was contracted by Democracy Partners, founded by Democratic political operative Robert Creamer. Both Foval and Creamer — who is married to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) — lost their jobs after the video was released. In the video, Foval says he “answers to the head of special events for the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and the head of the special events for the campaign.” Video clips from hidden cameras captures Foval describing “agitator training” and tricks used to bait Trump supporters outside of rallies.

“There’s a script of engagement. Sometimes the crazies bite and sometimes the crazies don’t bite,” Foval says in the video, referring to Trump supporters. He said people are coached not to engage in confrontation inside rallies, because the Secret Service is in control inside. He does not specify at which or how many rallies such “conflict engagement” has taken place.

“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 the rally, in a Planned Parenthood T-shirt. Or [say] ‘Trump is a Nazi.’ You know. You can message to draw them out and draw them to punch you,” he says.

Foval describes his process of making sure there is a “double blind” so that the Clinton campaign and the DNC can have plausible deniability: “The thing that we have to watch is making sure there is a double blind between the actual campaign and the actual DNC and what we’re doing. There’s a double blind there, so they can plausibly deny that they knew anything about it.”

A man who goes by both Aaron Black and Adam Minter, who describes himself as “basically deputy rapid response director for the DNC for all things Trump on the ground,” takes credit for coordinating the University of Illinois at Chicago protest. “But none of this is supposed to come back to us,” he says in the video. Creamer said the man was a “temporary regional subcontractor” for his firm.

“We regret the unprofessional and careless hypothetical conversations that were captured on hidden cameras of a temporary regional contractor for our firm, and he is no longer working with us. While none of the schemes described in the conversations ever took place, these conversations do not at all reflect the values of Democracy Partners,” Creamer said in a statement.

DNC interim chair Donna Brazile said the practices described by the man “do not in any way comport with our long standing policies on organizing events, and those statements and sentiments do not represent the values that the Committee holds dear.”

An activist named Zulema Rodriguez says in the video that she “did the Chicago Trump event where we shut down like all the, yeah,” and “then we also did the Arizona one where we shut the highway down.” The Trump campaign pointed to Rodriguez as support for Trump’s claim, noting that she was paid $1,610 and $30 for a phone by the Clinton campaign.

Federal Election Commission records show Rodriguez was paid in Arizona on Feb. 29, 2016, about two weeks before the Chicago event. Rodriguez sent us a statement, which read in part that her comments were taken out of context and selectively edited. We asked her to clarify what the February campaign payment was for, but she did not respond. Rodriguez was helping the Clinton campaign organize in Arizona, Time Magazine reported.

“What was omitted and what I constantly repeated to the infiltrators was that my team and I work together to make sure everyone stays safe while exercising their rights. I believe this to my core,” Rodriguez said in the statement.

While many progressive activist groups helped out with the Chicago protest, it was largely an effort led by local activists and university students. Clinton’s campaign denied it had any role in any of the Trump rallies where violence occurred. And Democracy Partners contracted with the DNC in June, three months after the Chicago event in March.

“The DNC has gone to very great lengths to contact local police departments and mayor’s offices to assure that there are adequate police at Trump events to separate Trump supporters and those who want to express their views that Trump is unfit to be president, precisely to avoid violence,” Creamer said in a statement. “None of us on the Democratic side believe violence is good for American politics. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly actually incited violence at his rallies many times in the last year.”

The Trump Foundation made a $10,000 gift to Project Veritas last year, The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reported.

Project Veritas has refused to release the full recording, so many questions remain: What exactly were the questions asked of the people filmed in the videos? What was edited in or out? When did these conversations take place? What remains unknown is the context in which these statements were made, what questions they were responding to, and what was edited out.

Still, the evidence is slim that Clinton or Obama paid people to cause violence in Chicago. We asked the Trump campaign for any other evidence of Obama’s role, or the Clinton campaign’s role in any other Trump rallies other than Chicago. We have not received a response.

The Pinocchio Test

Trump jumbled up a lot of the issues brought up in the video by Project Veritas.

He tied Clinton to violence at multiple rallies, including the one in Chicago. But his campaign has not provided evidence beyond the Chicago example. And the evidence the campaign did provide is slim: Rodriguez, an activist who was paid by Hillary for America in February in Arizona, says in the video that she “did the Chicago Trump event where we shut down like all the, yeah.” The payment was made about two weeks before the Chicago incident. There were skirmishes between protesters and supporters inside and outside of the arena in Chicago, but Foval describes tactics specifically used outside of the venues in order to avoid the Secret Service.

Foval does describe tactics used to bait Trump supporters into confrontation, and potentially violence, but Foval is not directly paid by the Clinton campaign or by the DNC. In fact, he describes in the video that he ensures a “double blind” so that the campaign and the DNC can claim plausible deniability.

Further, the Trump Foundation gave $10,000 to Project Veritas in 2015. Just as Trump is skeptical of Rodriguez’s motives because of her previous payment from the Clinton campaign, readers should also be wary of Trump touting a Project Veritas video that matches his campaign rhetoric.

There are many unknowns with this video. We don’t know the full context in which Foval’s statements were made, or whether there were other activists involved in violence at Trump rallies who have direct links to the campaign or to the DNC. Based on the information available now, Trump is stretching the facts too far, thus earning Three Pinocchios. We will keep an eye on this to see whether the Pinocchio count should be adjusted.

Three Pinocchios

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