The release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks Friday reveals that DNC officials planned anti-Donald Trump protests. In multiple emails, DNC officials signed off and acknowledged the existence of two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, IN and Billings, MT. The release of nearly 20,000 emails is the first in a WikiLeaks “Hillary Leaks” series.
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.”
Both the Indiana and Montana protests were non-violent. The South Bend protest had “some expletive laced chants,” and protesters carrying Mexican flags. The Montana one had “only a few” protesters. Intern involvement with protests is mentioned twice in the leaked emails. DNC communications director Luis Miranda bemoaned photos of an empty anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C. in one email chain.
Miranda said: “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.”
Miranda was notified of the Washington protest in an email chain titled “Tv coverage of protest great.” In the original email that notified the DNC communications director of the Indiana protest, a DNC staffer wrote, “thanks to our interns for finding this out.”
DNC officials Brad Marshall, a chief financial officer, and Alan Reed, a compliance officer, also signed off on the use of Black Lives Matter organizer Deray Mckesson as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.
Mckesson rose to prominence after being active in protests in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD. He has yet to endorse a candidate and said protests are likely to happen at the upcoming Democratic Party convention.