Top Dem super PAC launches anti-Trump war room By Jonathan Easley - 12/06/16 11:43 AM EST
A top Democratic super PAC is launching a war room aimed at making President-elect Donald Trump’s life miserable as he prepares to enter the White House.
Liberal political operative David Brock, a close ally of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, told reporters on Tuesday that his super PAC, American Bridge, has established a war room that will act as an aggressor and a watchdog for the Trump transition team and his incoming administration.
Brock claims to have the largest archive of Trump opposition research in the Democratic Party, including thousands of hours of footage that operatives are mining for damaging material.
“The Trump administration is shaping up to be one of the most corrupt since the Gilded Age,” Brock said. “American Bridge will use everything at its disposal to hold it accountable.”
American Bridge has established a rapid response team that will fact-check Trump’s claims in real time. Experts are said to be combing through Trump’s domestic and foreign business interests, his personal life, his charitable foundation and those he has associated with, using Freedom of Information Act requests to uncover new details.
Its findings will be passed along privately to the media, to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and even to Trump’s own supporters in an effort to undermine the president-elect.
In addition to American Bridge, Brock’s network of liberal groups includes the media watchdog Media Matters, the judicial and regulatory group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the social media platform Shareblue.
All are in the process of reinventing themselves in the age of Trump.Brock says that Shareblue could turn into the “Breitbart of the left” — as long as it receives a significant financial investment.
He’s seeking additional funding for CREW, saying he hopes it will rival the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch had a huge impact on the 2016 elections, using regulatory channels to create a steady flow of problems for Clinton, most often related to her use of a private email server while secretary of State. Brock’s web of liberal groups raised some $75 million in the 2016 cycle.
And Brock said that Media Matters will need to retrain its focus from monitoring Fox News and conservative talk radio to combating a scourge of fake news and conspiracy theories that have percolated online.
Brock and many Democrats partially blame Clinton’s loss on a proliferation of fake news spread across social media platforms like Facebook.
“A lot of garbage came spewing out of Facebook, and these companies need to adopt new standards and clean their own house,” Brock said. “We’ll be involved in a campaign to push them to do that.”Brock took credit for dragging Trump’s popularity to historic lows for a president-elect, although it wasn’t enough to beat back Trump’s insurgent campaign.
Democrats are clinging to what looks like a healthy popular vote victory for Clinton to question Trump’s legitimacy.
“The public demands this. Hillary Clinton got more votes for president than anyone in history,” said Democratic strategist James Carville. “She’ll win the popular vote by more than 2 percent, or 2.5 million votes. It would be a dereliction of duty not to do something of this magnitude.”
Brock said he didn’t have a price tag yet for the new initiatives at American Bridge but said he’d heard from donors who were energized by Clinton’s loss and eager to contribute to combating Trump.
Brock has invited 225 current donors and 175 prospective donors to a meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., over Trump’s inaugural weekend as he seeks to fund the groups he hopes will rival the Koch brothers’ network of influence on the right.
Still, several top Clinton donors interviewed by The Hill have expressed deep frustration with the direction of the party and say they’ll remain on the sidelines as Democrats rebuild.
Brock said he's hopeful Clinton will join the fight once the sting of her election defeat is behind her.
"We'd like to see her engaged when she's ready," Brock said.This isn't Brock's first time looking for damaging information on an administration. In the '90s, before his politics changed, Brock dogged the Bill Clinton administration with reporting on the president's sex life