A local reporter in Denver says Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a “static noise machine” at a fundraising event to prevent the press and public from hearing her speech.
The fundraiser was Thursday at the residence of Colorado gov. John Hickenlooper. The event was private, but since it took place outside -- in a tent in Hickenlooper’s yard -- anyone nearby would be able to hear much of what was going on.
But apparently the Clinton campaign wanted to make sure that didn’t happen, according to CBS Denver reporter Stan Bush, who tweeted that the campaign pointed a white-noise machine at the street just before Hillary Clinton spoke.
Bush also provided short videos demonstrating what the acoustics sounded like before and after the static noise started. He wrote that the noise came from “a large speaker pointed out into the street.”
Press-free fundraisers were an issue of contention in the 2012 presidential elections, when transparency advocates took both then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama to task for barring reporters from private events, or portions of events. The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Bernie Sanders campaign seized on the allegations in a Friday email to supporters, with the subject line “Wild story from Clinton fundraiser last night.”
Though the Sanders campaign has also held fundraisers at private residences, all of them have been open to some press coverage, Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told The Huffington Post.
“There have been three fundraisers in Los Angeles at private homes,” Briggs said in an email. “Two were covered by The Hollywood Reporter and local press. One was covered by a pool reporter, John Wagner of The Washington Post. In that instance, as other pooled events, we distributed the unedited report to our entire press list.”
It’s unclear if any reporters were allowed into the Clinton event at Hickenlooper’s home, though The Denver Post noted that her campaign “would release no details to the press in advance.”