- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The White House denied Wednesday that President Obama has a friendship with a Democratic operative who has visited the White House more than 300 times and is linked to an undercover video probe of a Democratic scheme to bait supporters of Republican Donald Trump at campaign rallies.

Asked if Robert Creamer was a friend of the president, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, “That’s not how I would describe him.” He is married to Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, a close ally of Mr. Obama.

Mr. Creamer, founder of Democracy Advocates, stepped down from his role helping the campaign of Hillary Clinton Tuesday, a day after Scott Foval was fired from his post as national field director of Americans United for Change. Undercover video released by the conservative group Project Veritas showed the two Democratic strategists discussing voter fraud and their roles in sending paid agitators to campaign events for Mr. Trump.

Visitor logs show Mr. Creamer making 340 visits to the White House, with 45 of those meetings including Mr. Obama. Mr. Earnest said he had no information about those meetings, but cautioned that it was highly unlikely that Mr. Creamer had “one-on-one” meetings with the president.

Mr. Earnest questioned the accuracy of Project Veritas’ videos, saying “these videos have not often released the truth.”

Regardless, he said any effort to incite violence at political rallies “is entirely inconsistent with the president’s view about community organizing and waging a vigorous campaign.”

“We should have so much confidence in the power of our persuasion and in our arguments that we shouldn’t have to resort to violence. And in fact, it is completely inappropriate to resort to violence to advance a political goal,” he said. “That certainly is a principle that the president certainly believes in.”

Asked by The Washington Times if the White House could assure voters that Democrats are not engaging in “dirty tricks,” Mr. Earnest replied, “There should be no misunderstanding that the use of violence or any other thing that could be construed as a dirty trick is not condoned by the president of the United States. It is not consistent with the kinds of values that we cherish in this democracy.”

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