Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook responded on Monday to an increasing number of protesters who have appeared at rallies chanting “Bill Clinton is a rapist” and wearing shirts claiming the same.
Mook told reporters on a conference call that the protests are “part of the [Donald] Trump campaign’s scorched earth policy.”
“They’re trying to make excuses and taper over his lack of real plans,” he said, calling the rhetoric “disrespectful” and “divisive.”
He then called out Alex Jones, the noted conspiracy theorist and founder of InfoWars, for encouraging the protests by promising cash rewards for individuals who disrupt events by making the claims.
“Alex Jones will continue to pay people to wear shirts and hold signs,” he said.
At recent rallies, the Jones-inspired protesters have made a few high-profile interruptions, earning pushback from President Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
During a rally last week in Detroit, a man wearing a shirt calling Bill Clinton a rapist shouted down Hillary Clinton and was removed from the rally.
“You know, I do hope somebody follows that gentleman out and stages an intervention,” Hillary Clinton said. “He clearly has not been following this election very closely.”
In Iowa on Wednesday, Bill Clinton said a similar protest was “what’s wrong with American politics.”
“Give that guy a hand — they have had a very bad week in the Trump campaign, and he feels bad,” Bill Clinton said as a protester shouted “you’re a rapist!” “Give him a hand! The problem is, if you only listen to one television station, and nobody ever tells you the truth, you get like that.”
Obama was faced with the protests at two rallies last week. In North Carolina, he said the protesters were “some folks who were auditioning for a reality show.”
The Clinton campaign pushed back against Jones on Sunday in an ad titled “Conspiracies” which focused on Trump’s connection with the conspiracy theorist. The ad ripped Jones for spreading unfounded fringe theories about the Sandy Hook shooting and September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Just one day later, on Monday morning, Trump retweeted Paul Joseph Watson, Jones’ top deputy and one of the most prominent conspiracy theorists on the internet.
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