FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, James O’Keefe, President of Project Veritas Action, waits to be introduced during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Project Veritas, a conservative group known for undercover investigations, has been linked to a woman who falsely told the Washington Post that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore impregnated her as a teenager, the newspaper reported. “We don’t comment on investigations real or imagined, or imagined stings,” conservative activist and Project Veritas’ leader O’Keefe told The Associated Press Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has been a major pain in the butt to the left for some years. While it’s true that some of the scoops produced are underwhelming, most give the nation a clearer understanding of exactly what is going on behind the scenes on the left. He has exposed blatant political bias in Big Tech and shown that CNN and some other news organizations are essentially subsidiaries of the Democrat party.
Over the weekend, the New York Times, in a piece authored by Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman, titled Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups, tries create another “election meddling” hoax and to tie Project Veritas directly to it while dragging in the Trump administration for good measure.
Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda, according to interviews and documents.
Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations on news organizations, Democratic politicians and liberal advocacy groups. Mr. Seddon’s role in the teachers’ union operation — detailed in internal Project Veritas emails that have emerged from the discovery process of a court battle between the group and the union — has not previously been reported, nor has Mr. Prince’s role in recruiting Mr. Seddon for the group’s activities.
In case you’re wondering what the evidence is linking Erik Prince with Project Veritas, this is it:
Mr. Prince appears to have become interested in using former spies to train Project Veritas operatives in espionage tactics sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign. Reaching out to several intelligence veterans — and occasionally using Mr. Seddon to make the pitch — Mr. Prince said he wanted the Project Veritas employees to learn skills like how to recruit sources and how to conduct clandestine recordings, among other surveillance techniques.
Mr. Prince invited Project Veritas operatives — including Mr. O’Keefe — to his family’s Wyoming ranch for training in 2017, The Intercept reported last year. Mr. O’Keefe and others shared social media photos of taking target practice with guns at the ranch, including one post from Mr. O’Keefe saying that with the training, Project Veritas will be “the next great intelligence agency.” Mr. Prince had hired a former MI6 officer to help train the Project Veritas operatives, The Intercept wrote, but it did not identify the officer.
And the connections between Prince and the Trump administration?
Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has at times served as an informal adviser to Trump administration officials. He worked with the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn during the presidential transition. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war using contractors in lieu of American troops. Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, rejected the idea.
And between O’Keefe and the White House?
The group has also become intertwined with the political activities of Mr. Trump and his family. The Trump Foundation gave $20,000 to Project Veritas in 2015, the year that Mr. Trump began his bid for the presidency. The next year, during a presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump claimed without substantiation that videos released by Mr. O’Keefe showed that Mrs. Clinton and President Barack Obama had paid people to incite violence at rallies for Mr. Trump.
In a book published in 2018, Mr. O’Keefe wrote that Mr. Trump years earlier had encouraged him to infiltrate Columbia University and obtain Mr. Obama’s records.
Last month, Project Veritas made public secretly recorded video of a longtime ABC News correspondent who was critical of the network’s political coverage and its emphasis on business considerations over journalism. Many conservatives have gleefully pounced on Project Veritas’s disclosures, including one particularly influential voice: Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son.
The website for Mr. O’Keefe’s coming wedding listed Donald Trump Jr. as an invited guest.
This, coming from the same reporters at the same paper who had no curiosity at all about the platoon of “OCONUS lures,” as disgraced former FBI thug Peter Strzok called them, or misgivings about Hillary Clinton hiring Christopher Steele, who, in all probability, is still affiliated with British Intelligence, to hire people who may be assets of the Russian FSB or GRU to provide opposition research on President Trump and his campaign, is exceedingly rich.
Let’s cut to the chase. The New York Times is trying to discredit the investigative work done by O’Keefe. They can’t discredit the reporting as it stands on its own merit. Their only alternative is to try to discredit the organization. As there is nothing illegal about O’Keefe hiring a foreign national, their next step is to try to link it to the White House. To do that they have the facts that O’Keefe invited Donald Trump, Jr., to a wedding and Erik Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos. This is a cheap shot, even by New York Times standards, and they should be ashamed were they capable of that emotion.