Hours after President Trump slammed the media in a CPAC speech, his administration appears to be cracking down press access.
Conservative activist James O’Keefe on Thursday released the first part of cache of audio recordings he claims come from CNN headquarters and believes exposes what he calls “media malfeasance” by the cable news network.
“Project Veritas was given over 200 hours of audio from an anonymous source earlier this month,” O’Keefe said on his website, soliciting volunteers to “help transcribing, investigating and connecting the dots.”
“This secretly recorded audio was obtained at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters in 2009,” he said. On Wednesday, he said in an interview on CNN, “This is all legally recorded information.”
CNN did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
“I want to start exposing the media and their flaws,” O’Keefe tweeted in a timely echo of President Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on major news organizations, CNN in particular. “This is the beginning of the end for the MSM. And it starts today.”
For years, O’Keefe has targeted liberal groups but his Project Veritas has been criticized for questionable tactics and selectively editing of videos. According to PolitiFact, his videos are “edited in ways that the context of the conversation or the meaning of the statement isn’t always clear.”
But O’Keefe’s work as a provocateur has made an impact, most recently triggering the resignation of Democratic operatives who were apparently caught on camera discussing ways to disrupt Trump campaign rallies.
He first gained notoriety for his 2009 headline-grabbing release of undercover videos alleging illegal activity by employees of ACORN, a community organizing group that helped register low-income people to vote.
One employee sued O’Keefe, claiming he broke the law by taping him without consent. O’Keefe eventually settled the case for $100,000. But the videos led to ACORN losing its federal funding and eventually filing for bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, O’Keefe is now offering $10,000 to anyone “willing to provide video/audio exposing malfeasance” in the mainstream media.