Project Veritas

Project Veritas

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Updated Jul 11, 2019 at 11:40AM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 27, 2016 at 04:20PM EDT by Don.

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About

Project Veritas is a nonprofit organization founded by conservative political activist James O'Keefe,[2] which states that its mission is to "investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct." The organization is best known for releasing hidden camera footage meant to expose corruption in liberal and left-leaning political organizations, which some have criticized as misleading for using selective editing.

History

In June 2010, O'Keefe created Project Veritas as a 501©(3) organization. In February 2012, the Project Veritas Facebook[5] page was created. In September, the @Project_Veritas[4] Twitter feed was launched. Within four years, the Facebook page gained over 120,600 likes and the Twitter feed received more than 69,000 followers.

Abbie Boudreau Seduction Incident

In August 2010, Project Veritas executive director Izzy Santa warned CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau that O'Keefe planned to embarrass her by secretly recording their meeting on his boat, during which he would attempt to seduce her.

NPR Video

On March 8th, 2011, Project Veritas released a video showing discussions between NPR senior vice president for fundraising Ronald Schiller and his associate Betsy Liley with two men pretending to be representatives of a Muslim group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (shown below). On March 10th, The Blaze[7] compared the edited video to the raw footage of the conversation and accused Project Veritas of using selective editing to misrepresent the conversation.



YouTube Channel

On October 3rd, 2014, the Project Veritas YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Caught on Tape: Battleground Texas Violating Election Laws Again?," featuring edited undercover videos accusing Battleground Texas operatives of "turning a blind eye to potential voter registration fraud" (shown below). On August 26th, 2015, the channel uploaded undercover video of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign organizer expressing that they did not want to focus on registering voters to avoid having to register non-Clinton supporters (shown below, right).



On July 25th, the channel uploaded an undercover video in which a Hillary Clinton "Alternate Delegate" discusses gun control (shown below, left).



October 2016 Videos

On October 11th, 2016, the veritasvisuals YouTube channel released a hidden camera video in which New York City Democratic Election Commissioner Alan Schulkin, who speculated that voter fraud was occurring in the state of New York (shown below, left). The following day, the Project Veritas Action channel uploaded hidden camera footage of Clinton staffers discussing preventing Republicans from registering to vote and comparing their statements to the Trump tapes (shown below, right).



On October 13th, 2016, Project Veritas released a secretly recorded video in which donors for Democratic politician Russ Feingold discuss how Clinton will impose new gun control restrictions (shown below).



"Rigging the Election" Videos

On October 17th, Project Veritas released the first in a series of videos titled "Rigging the Election," which included hidden camera footage of pro-Clinton campaigners discussing plans to incite violence at Donald Trump rallies (shown below, left). The following day, a second "Rigging the Election" video was released, with additional hidden camera footage of "Democratic operatives" discussing practices that could be considered voter fraud (shown below, right).



On October 24th, part three in the series was released, which accused the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the American United for Change organization of being engaged in "back room dealings" (shown below, left). Two days later, the channel posted part four in the "Rigging the Election" series, speculating that the organization Americans United for Change was using a Belize bank account (shown below, right).



YouTube Video Removal

On October 20th, the @Project_Veritas[6] Twitter feed claimed that YouTube had banned one of their videos containing undercover footage discussing "safe spaces" at Florida State University and the University of Virginia.


Tweet by @Project_Veritas on how the video was deleted from Youtube but they had a copy up on facebook

CNN Undercover Videos

On June 26th, 2017, Project Veritas released a hidden camera video in which CNN Producer John Bonifield is shown stating that the news network's coverage of the Russiagate scandal was largely due to "ratings" and that the reporting thus far as "mostly bullshit" (shown below, left). Over the next 48 hours, the video gained over 2.46 million views and 15,200 comments. That day, the video reached the front page of /r/uncensorednews,[9] where it gathered more than 11,500 points (53% upvoted) and 3,500 comments. During a White House press conference held the following day, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretart Sarah Huckabee Sanders encouraged viewers to watch the CNN videos (shown below).



On June 28th, Project Veritas released a follow up video in which CNN anchor Van Jones speaks to an undercover reporter, revealing that he believed "the Russia thing is just a big nothing-burger" (shown below). Within 24 hours, the video received upwards of 1.13 million views and 7,100 comments. Shorlty after, the video reached the front page of /r/The_Donald,[10] accumulating over 18,300 points (93% upvoted) and 1,400 comments over the next day. Meanwhile, Business Insider[8] published an article about the controversial videos, which claimed that a CNN spokesman simply replied "Lol" to an emailed question about the video.



Failed Washington Post/Roy Moore Sting

On November 27th, The Washington Post[11] published an article outlining how they were approached by a woman, identified as Jaime T. Phillips, with an account stating she was impregnated by Roy Moore in 1992 when she was fifteen. The Post did not publish her story based on "inconsistencies" and "an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations." The inconsistencies the Post identified included a claim made by Philips that she had only lived in Alabama for a summer, yet Philips' phone number had an Alabama area code. The internet posting mentioned was a May 29th, 2017 GoFundMe page posted by a Jaime Philips raising money for her move from Alabama to New York to pursue a career in "conservative media."


gofundme a Search f Share Tweet Start a Fundraiser Donate 2$250 of $2,000 goal Raised by 2 people in 5 months Donate Now fShare on Facebook Created May 29, 2017 Jaime Phillips Business 9 ATLANTA, GA Recent Donations $50 5 months ago fi Share 200 5 months ago Relocation to New York for Work KO fiShare Tweet Be the first to share I'm moving to New York! I've accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM. I'll be using my skills as a researcher and fact-checker to help our movement. TK Share I was laid off from my mortgage job a few months ago and came across the opportunity to change my career path. The timing of being laid off and then being presented with a chance to finally do some good in this world all came together at just the right moment. Viewing 2 of 2 Donations Because of my recent layoff however, I am in need of funding/sponsorship for me to be able to make this big life change. I would like to be able to start this new adventure with a mind at ease so that I can do the best work possible and not start out constantly playing catch up Any help for my cause would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading! Help spread the word!

To confirm that this GoFundMe was in fact the page of the same Jaime Phillips who they met with previously, the Post discovered two of the donations to the page were made by Phillips' daughter. Furthermore, Project Veritas had advertised job openings in March which called upon "undercover reporters" to "adopt an alias persona, gain access to an identified person of interest and persuade that person to reveal information." The Post saw Phillips walking into the offices of Project Veritas on the morning of the 27th, which confirmed their suspicions that Phillips was lying on behalf of Project Veritas. Project Veritas owner James O'Keefe declined the Post's requests for interviews. The Post released their secretly recorded conversation with Phillips in the interview (shown below).



Online, many praised the Washington Post's journalism and mocked how the failed sting ended up proving that The Washington Post had in fact thoroughly fact-checked their reporting in their Roy Moore story, contrary to what doubters believed. The reactions (examples shown below) were covered by Uproxx.[12]


Alexis Levinson . @alexis_levinson Follow so basically we've just confirmed that WaPo does thorough and rigorous reporting. cool. A woman approached The Post with dramatic - and false tale about Roy M.. Jaime Phillips, who claimed to The Post that Moore impregnated her as a teenager, was seen on Monday walking into the headquarters of Project Veritas, a group that washingtonpost.com Frank Luntz @FrankLuntz Follow ) Undercover @Project_Veritas operation exposes... the Washington Post's extensive fact-checking and verification process. A woman approached The Post with dramatic - and false tale about Roy M.. Jaime Phillips, who claimed to The Post that Moore impregnated her as a teenager, rters of Project Veritas washingtonpost.com Parker Higgins, 1337 H· @xor Follow Rightwing group tries to "sting" the Washington Post with fake Roy Moore allegations, ends up proving that good journalists are fact-checking these stories A woman approached The Post with dramatic - and false tale about Roy M.. Jaime Phillips, who claimed to The Post that Moore impregnated her as a teenager, was seen on Monday walking into th of Project Veritas, a group that washingtonpost.com

Donald Trump's Twitter DMs

On January 10th, 2018, Project Veritas uploaded a video to YouTube[13] in which a series of edited and subtitled clips are placed alongside each other to appear as though Twitter senior network security engineer Clay Haynes says that he has access to all of Donald Trump's Twitter information and will hand over all those communications to the DOJ. Haynes says, "We’re more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation. Giving them every single tweet that he’s posted, even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions." The video (shown below) received more than 160,000 views in 24 hours.



A spokes person for Twitter[14] responded to the video. They said:

"The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter. Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.

"We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative. Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules."

Pinterest Leak

On June 11th, 2019, the Project Veritas YouTube channel uploaded a video which a video featuring an interview with an anonymous person claiming to be an employee of Pinterest, who claimed the platform was biased against conservatives and that Ben Shapiro had been referred to as a "white supremacist" in a company Slack channel (shown below).



That day, the video reached the front page of /r/The_Donald.[15] Also on June 11th, Project Veritas[16] published an article reporting that the "Pinterest insider" has been fired. The following day, James O'Keefe tweeted that the @Project_Varitas Twitter account had been suspended for "tweeting internal communications" (shown below).




Google Insider Video

On June 24th, 2019, Project Veritas released a video titled "Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent 'Trump situation' in 2020 on Hidden Cam" (shown below). In the video, Google executive Jen Gennai describes 2016 as a pivotal year when "everbody got screwed over," stating "We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?"



Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent "Trump situation" in 2020 on Hidden Cam from Project Veritas on Vimeo.


That day, Gennai published a response to the video on Medium[17] titled "This is not how I expected Monday to go!" In the article, Gennai stated she had been filmed at the dinner after agreeing to meet about "a mentoring program for young women of color in tech" and accused Project Veritas of filming her without her consent and selectively editing and slicing the footage to distort her words. Meanwhile, YouTube removed the Project Veritas video from the platform. Also on June 24th, O'Keefe tweeted[18] that Reddit suspended the Project Veritas account on the platform. That day, a post titled "What is the deal with project vertias' subreddit being suspended" to /r/OutOfTheLoop.[19]

Criticism

Many have criticized O'Keefe for selective editing of videos to misrepresent subjects that have been secretly recorded. On October 18th, 2016, Snopes[3] published an article about the "Rigging the Election" videos, which challenged the authenticity of the videos and noted criticisms of O'Keefe's editing techniques used in previously released recordings.

Search Interest

External References

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