In one of the oddest turns of the campaign season, a Democratic activist was indeed trying to disrupt campaign events — but they were Marco Rubio's events. And he was working with Donald Trump's favorite news outlet, Breitbart.
According to a report from Politico, Breitbart recruited Aaron Black, a progressive activist from Democracy Partners, who provided them with tips and video footage and coordinated how they would cover his disruptions. Among Black’s most conspicuous escapades was dressing up as a robot outside of Rubio’s campaign events. The headline for that article read: “Exclusive — Rubio NH Chairman: Wrestled Scary Marcobot Protester In Self-Defense!”
The revelation about Black further demonstrates the close relationship between Breitbart — a popular news outlet for conservatives — and the Trump campaign. That relationship was solidified in August when Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon took a leave to be CEO of Trump’s campaign.
Black returned to the headlines earlier this month when he appeared in a video by Project Veritas which claimed to show proof that the Democratic National Committee deliberately provoked violence at Donald Trump rallies. Veritas is run by James O’Keefe, a journalist whose reputation has been marred by proof that he edited videos in 2009 and 2011 to distort the words and actions of his subjects.
“None of this is supposed to come back to us, because we want it coming from people. We don’t want it coming from the party,” Black said in the video. “So if we do a protest and it’s branded — ‘Oh, the DNC protest’ — right away the press is going to say: partisan.”
By Matthew Rozsa
Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.