CPAC attendees trolled into waving Russia flags during Trump’s speech

Aaron Rupar

Aaron Rupar Journalist, Think Progress

During his Friday speech to CPAC speech, President Donald Trump tried to quash coverage of his administration’s Russia scandal in an indirect way by taking aim at the anonymous leakers who have regularly revealed new allegations about his shady connections with Russia and the Russian government’s attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election in his favor.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” Trump opined. “Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out.”

The president might not have directly addressed the Russia scandal, but liberal activists trolled CPAC attendees into making it visible during the speech by handing out Russia flags with “TRUMP” emblazoned on them.

The activists behind the flags are Americans Take Action members Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton.

Conservative activist James O’Keefe posted video of them being escorted out of CPAC once their shenanigans came to light:

Reached for comment, Clayton, using a Borat accent, told ThinkProgress that “I’m for strong leader like President Trump — that’s why Putin picked him!”

Speaking more soberly, Charter said the idea was to “shed some light on an important issue, but using laughter” in an environment where people are “being bombarded with negative news stories.”

He added that “most people did not have a clue about what was going on.”

“They took the flags and waved them not realizing they’re Russia flags,” Charter said. “I was actually really hopeful to see that a lot of people at CPAC were not Trump supporters, they were libertarians mortified at what Trump is doing.”

Trump may want the Russia story to go away, but his CPAC speech came the same day news broke that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had attempted to meddle in the FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election. In light of that revelation, Democratic member of Congress are expressing increased interest in an investigation. And following a briefing from FBI Director James Comey a week ago, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee seem to be on the same page.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work