An anti-Trump demonstration in Minneapolis turned violent Friday night, spurring speculation that coordination between the Democratic National Committee and anti-Trump protesters may still be occurring. Leaked DNC emails in July revealed that coordination was taking place.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the protest was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee. KARE 11 described the mayhem outside of the Minneapolis Convention Center where Donald Trump was holding a fundraiser as “tense and sometimes violent.”
The protest turned when activists tried to storm the convention center and police were forced to hold them back. Protesters spray-painted obscenities on the convention center walls, threatened donors, and threw things at them as they left the event. They also reportedly spat on donors and chased them to their cars.
Reported KARE’s Lauren Leamanczyk:
Things got really ugly as this event was letting out … they burned an American flag while shouting obscenities.
Some of the donors needed a police escort so they could return to their cars safely. Others weren’t so lucky:
Incredibly, there were no arrests.
The release of hacked DNC emails in July revealed that in the past, DNC officials have coordinated with anti-Trump protesters — and in some cases had interns participate in the protests. Via the Daily Caller on July 24:
In multiple emails, DNC officials signed off and acknowledged the existence of two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, IN and Billings, MT.
On April 29, a DNC press staffer, Rachel Palermo, alerted Eric Walker, deputy communications director, about a Facebook page for an anti-Trump protest on May 2 in South Bend.
“Whoo! Thanks to our interns for finding this out.” Walker replies, “I like it, as long as the students feel safe getting involved. I imagine this demo will be nicer than the one in San Fran today.”
That day in San Francisco protesters blocked off roads to an event Donald Trump was hosting. The Republican nominee ended up having to jump down from the highway and sneak around back to enter.
In another other email chain also on April 29, titled “Week-Ahead Notes & Assignments,” former DNC media booker Pablo Manriquez comments “this should be fun” in reference to the May protest.
University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend, is Manriquez’s alma mater. A DNC official wrote, “Pablo please reach out to any folks you think may be able to help.”
Another protest that’s directly mentioned in emails included one that occurred on May 26 in Billings, MT. The email is from May 20 and features notes on the “week ahead.”
The emails also revealed that DNC officials Brad Marshall, chief financial officer, and Alan Reed, a compliance officer, signed off on the use of Black Lives Matter organizer Deray McKesson as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.
The emails suggest that interns were tasked with finding out about anti-Trump protests, and in some cases were asked to attend protests. Apparently, officials at the DNC were concerned with the optics of the anti-Trump demonstrations — the more bodies that showed up, the better.
Last May, Democrats organized a protest outside of Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., when Donald Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, but the turnout was small. Luckily for them, the media assisted with the optics. Reported Full Measure’s Sharyl Attkisson:
They were surprised and delighted by reporters’ mischaracterizations of the event.
“Tv coverage of protest great” declared DNC communications official T.J. Helmstetter in an email to DNC National Communications Director Luis Miranda on May 12, 2016.
“Shockingly good coverage despite abysmal turnout. CNN and MSNBC using prominently.”
Miranda responds: “Yes, but going forward, when our allies screw up and don’t deliver bodies in time, we either send all our interns out there or we stay away from it.. we don’t want to own a bad picture.”
“The Hill” published a story by a writer named Harper Neidig that made it sound like the area was crawling with Trump opponents and supporters. The story was accompanied by a photo showing four anti-Trump protesters holding signs.
The DNC announced the departures of Luis Miranda and Brad Marshall earlier this month, but the question of whether the DNC is still meddling with Trump events remains open. The DNC has used fake protesters throughout Obama’s terms — their utilization of the practice dates back to the Bush administration, and was employed by former Obama adviser David Axelrod.
PJ Media’s request for comment from the DNC was not returned in time for publication.