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

Saving the Nation’s Parks

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

The wildfires ravaging the West Coast not only pose imminent danger to iconic national parks like Crater Lake in Oregon and the Redwoods in California, but threaten the future of all of America’s beloved scenic places.

As climate change fuels the federal government’s need to spend more of National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service budgets on wildfire suppression, massive maintenance backlogs and decrepit infrastructure threaten the entire system of national parks and forests.

A long-overdue infusion of funds into the roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and marinas in these treasured spaces would generate jobs and preserve landmark sites for generations to come.

The infrastructure networks in the nation’s parks long have failed to meet modern-day demand. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave parks a D+ rating in its 2017 infrastructure report card, citing chronic underfunding and deferred maintenance.

Just this year, a large portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is owned and managed by the NPS, collapsed due to heavy rains and slope failures. Projects to prevent disasters like this one get pushed further down the road as wildfire management squeezes agency budgets more each year.

Congress recently passed the Great American Outdoors Act,  allocating billions in new funding for the NPS.

But that’s just a first step in a long yet vital process to bring parks and forests to 21st-century standards. America’s big, open spaces cannot afford to suffer additional neglect.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work