St. Paul, Minn. (CNSNews.com) - A Code Pink protestor, who identified herself to CNSNews.com as Rae Abileah, used a media credential to disrupt a pro-life event held here this week during the Republican National Convention.
In an on-camera interview with CNSNews.com, Abileah, who was wearing a badge identifying her as “Jo Mannies, St. Louis Post-Dispatch,” said someone gave her a media credential to get into the event, which was sponsored by the Republican National Coalition for Life (RNC for Life).
CNSNews.com: Where did you get the name tag?
Abileah: From the table. ….
Unidentified woman: You’re not Jo Mannies. [Then to CNSnews.com] She’s got a Jo Mannies badge on.
Abileah: Someone gave me this to go inside.
Unidentified woman: Joe Mannies is a reporter form the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. From the state of Missouri. And you’re not Jo Mannies.
Abileah: Someone gave me it from a media outlet.
Mannies, a regional political correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, told CNSNews.com by phone that she didn’t give her name tag to anybody. She also did not know anyone had impersonated her at the Republican National Coalition for Life event until two Missouri delegates told her about it later.
But she also said that she had not been issued a badge with her name on it, either.
“I had gone there and checked in, and they handed me a badge without a name on it, it just said ‘media,’” Mannies said. “So, I just stuck it on, and went in and I was sitting in the back typing, and I went to the ladies room, ran back in when I heard a little ruckus, saw her on stage shouting, as she was being rolled out--a protester, I have no idea who it was--then I left because I had to get to the convention center.”
Mannies said that some Missouri delegates approached her later about what happened.
Mannies said she was told a protestor “had a sticker or a badge or something with my name on it, and that she was being interviewed and that one of them [the delegates]--Janet Englebach was the one who told me about it--said she jumped in front of the camera --this is Janet---and said, ‘That’s not Jo Mannies, I know Jo Mannies.’ I’m sort of a middle-aged reporter covering the Missouri delegation--but she said the woman then ripped the badge off and wadded it in her hands.”
CNSNews.com was not able to reach Englebach before going to press, and was unable to independently confirm that she is the woman in the videotape who confronted Abileah about the badge.
The protestors, meanwhile, told CNSNews.com that they had told Republican National Coalition for Life organizers that they were pro-life in order to gain entrance.
Inside the event, two Code Pink protestors mounted the stage where Phyllis Schlafly was speaking, and closely approached the podium. They were escorted off the stage.
Later, after radio host Laura Ingraham spoke, Schlafly returned to the podium, and additional Code Pink protestors mounted the stage and chanted from in front of the stage. These protestors were escorted from the stage and the front of the stage to outside the hotel.
Abileah was among the Code Pink protestors escorted out of the hotel after the second disruption.
“Someone gave me it from a media outlet,” Abileah said outside the hotel. “It’s friendly of them. There’s a lot of media out there that support our message.”