A Democratic strategist who worked on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced his resignation after video footage surfaced suggesting his organization took measures to incite violence at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign events.
Robert Creamer, who is married to Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, said he was "stepping back" from his position on Oct. 18, shortly after the video clip was released by James O'Keefe's conservative activist group Project Veritas Action.
"I am unwilling to become a distraction to the important task of electing Hilary Clinton, and defeating Donald Trump in the upcoming election," Creamer said in a statement, according to CNN. "As a result I have indicated to the Democratic National Committee that I am stepping back from my responsibilities working with the campaign."
In the video, an operative affiliated with one of Creamer's consulting groups, Scott Foval, appears to discuss various methods of inciting violence at Trump's rallies.
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"I mean, honestly, it's not hard to get some of these a------- to pop off," Foval says at one point. "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."
"It doesn't matter what the friggin' legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf-----," Foval continues.
At one point, he explains that he and his organization bribe homeless people and people with mental illnesses to disrupt targeted events.
"We have mentally-ill people that we pay to do s---, make no mistake," he says. "Over the last 20 years, I've paid off a few homeless guys to do crazy stuff."
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Foval has since been fired from Americans United for Change, where he served as field director.
In his statement, Creamer sought to distance himself from Foval's comments.
"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. "While none of the schemes described in the conversations ever took place, these conversations do not at all reflect the values of Democracy Partners."
Likewise, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign released a statement denying any knowledge of Foval's purported activities.
"While Project Veritas has been known to offer misleading video out of context, some of the language and tactics referenced in the video are troubling even as a theory or proposal never executed," said campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas, according to CNN. "We support the Democratic National Committee's appropriate action addressing this matter and look forward to continue waging a campaign of ideas worthy of our democratic process."
Speaking to a crowd in Colorado Springs, Trump lamented what he sees as a lack of media coverage of the expose video.
"It was barely covered by the media, but it's all over the internet," he said, according to the Daily Mail. "[The protesters] were bussed in. They were paid $1,500 each and given cell phones [and told]: 'Go up and disturb Trump rallies.'"
In 2005, Creamer pleaded guilty to bank fraud totaling $2.3 million. He also pleaded guilty to tax violations.