This is a David Weigel article. I like David Weigel articles -- have for years -- because he takes the time and goes to the trouble to understand conservatives. But he isn't one himself.
There are people who are employed by political organizations to follow around the opposing team(s) to get the dirt on them. Quotes like that monkey thing. Stuff like that. It is called "oppo research" (opposition research). The people who engage in this activity are called "trackers" (<-- that word was new to me). Weigel assumes in this article that you know what "American Bridge" is. It is a PAC. Here is their website.
One of their "trackers" has been locked out of a lot of events during this long run up to the 2016 Presidential election. He finally got into an event. A staffer at that event wanted to make any video he shot useless and went up to the camera and licked it. Obvs, sort of self-defeating. Everyone kept their jobs.
Interesting story (hey, I thought it was interesting). The last sentence of the article is entertaining: "According to Ben Ray, a spokesman for American Bridge, trackers will soon be supplied with this." Here is the link: http://www.chiefsupply.com/paulson-spit-shields-5-pack.html?gclid=CLCh6MO8usUCFQUXHwod_HAA_Q It is to a face covering "spit shield" to protect the wearer from bodily fluids.
The world is so much more complex than I realize.