Wow. This is turning the tables.
James O’Keefe’s outfit, Project Veritas, has churned out some hits over the years, busting ACORN, most memorably in 2009. They’ve been chasing that conservative fame, ever since.
They always seem to do it the exact same way – Send in someone undercover, hidden camera, get some sort of confession or otherwise compromising footage, expose the baddies.
Maybe they should try something new, mix it up a little, because… man.
O’Keefe and company’s latest attempt at a sting was meant to attack the Washington Post and restore the besmirched honor of Roy Moore. The problem is, they’ve gotten lazy.
And when we get lazy, what happens?
That’s right. We slip up.
It was an elaborate, but familiar plot, with one woman, using the name, “Jaime T. Phillips.” She reached out to WaPo reporter, Beth Reinhard.
“Jaime” reached out to WaPo reporters through email, expressing a desire to dish dirt on Roy Moore. Her initial email came the morning after the newspaper posted the story about Leigh Corfman, who claimed Moore pressed her for a sexual relationship when she was only 14 years old.
“Roy Moore in Alabama . . . I might know something but I need to keep myself safe. How do we do this?” the apparent tipster wrote under an account with the name “Lindsay James.”
The email’s subject line was “Roy Moore in AL.” The sender’s email address included “rolltide,” the rallying cry of the University of Alabama’s sports teams, which are nicknamed the Crimson Tide.
Reinhard sent an email asking if the person was willing to talk off the record.
“Not sure if I trust the phone,” came the reply. “Can we just stick to email?”
“I need to be confident that you can protect me before I will tell all,” the person wrote in a subsequent email. “I have stuff I’ve been hiding for a long time but maybe it should stay that way.”
And here’s where the dullards over at Gateway Pundit get involved. Moore defenders were pressing forward with their attacks.
That same day, Gateway Pundit, a conservative site, spread a false story from a Twitter account, @umpire43, that said, “A family friend in Alabama just told my wife that a WAPO reporter named Beth offer her 1000$ to accuse Roy Moore.” The Twitter account, which has a history of spreading misinformation, has since been deleted.
Then there was this:
On Nov. 14, a pastor in Alabama said he received a voice mail from a man falsely claiming to be a Post reporter and seeking women “willing to make damaging remarks” about Moore for money. No one associated with The Post made any such call.
The Post maintains that they never pay for stories.
In the following weeks, through an encrypted text messaging service and by phone, “Jaime” played out her communications with Reinhard, asking to meet in New York, but eventually agreeing to meet at a shopping mall in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
When Reinhard met her, she unfurled this tale:
The 41-year-old said she had been abused as a child, Reinhard said. Her family had moved often. She said she moved in with an aunt in the Talladega area of Alabama and started attending a church youth group when she met Moore in 1992, the year he became a county judge. She said she was 15. She said they started a “secret” sexual relationship.
“I knew it wasn’t right, but I didn’t care,” she said.
She said that she got pregnant, that Moore talked her into an abortion, and that he drove her to Mississippi to get it.
So horrible she just couldn’t finish her salad, after telling it.
She claimed the Harvey Weinstein reports prompted her to come forward. She also wanted a guarantee from the reporter that this information would cost Moore the election.
How is a reporter supposed to be able to predict something like that?
Reinhard asked for documents that might back up her story, and explained that there would be a fact-checking process.
Later that day, Phillips told Reinhard that she felt “anxiety & negative energy after our meeting,” text messages show. “You just didn’t convince me that I should come forward,” she wrote.
Reinhard replied, “I’m so sorry but I want to be straight with you about the fact-checking process and the fact that we can’t guarantee what will happen as a result of another story.”
“Jaime” next reached out to WaPo reporter Stephanie McCrummen, who co-wrote the Corfman article, telling Reinhard that she’d rather go to another paper than talk to her again.
Remember that fact-checking bit that seemed to upset “Jaime” so much?
Alice Crites, while researching background found a GoFundMe account from “Jaime Phillips.” It was a doozy.
“I’m moving to New York!” the May 29 appeal said. “I’ve accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceit of the liberal MSM. I’ll be using my skills as a researcher and fact-checker to help our movement. I was laid off from my mortgage job a few months ago and came across the opportunity to change my career path.”
Well, how about that?
In a March posting on its Facebook page, Project Veritas said it was seeking 12 new “undercover reporters,” though the organization’s operatives use methods that are eschewed by mainstream journalists, such as misrepresenting themselves.
A posting for the “journalist” job on the Project Veritas website that month warned that the job “is not a role for the faint of heart.”
The job’s listed goal: “To adopt an alias persona, gain access to an identified person of interest and persuade that person to reveal information.”
It also listed tasks that the job applicant should be able to master, including: “Learning a script,” “Preparing a background story to support your role,” “Gaining an appointment or access to the target of the investigation,” and “Operating concealed recording equipment.”
Jaime Phillips is a relatively common name, but there was another telling detail. One of two donations listed on the site was from a name that matched her daughter’s, according to public records.
With this knowledge and a healthy dose of suspicion, McCrummen agreed to meet with “Jaime” in Alexandria, VA.
She got there to find “Jaime” already there, seated, with her purse on the table. Two videographers were along with McCrummen, and they set nearby, filming the exchange.
She said she wanted McCrummen to assure her that the article would result in Moore’s defeat, according to a recording. McCrummen instead asked her about her story regarding Moore.
Phillips complained that President Trump had endorsed Moore.
“So my whole things is, like, I want him to be completely taken out of the race . . . ” she said. “And I really expected that was going to happen, and now it’s not. So, I don’t know what you think about that.”
McCrummen asked for ID and was shown a Georgia drivers license. Then she whips out that GoFundMe page she’d printed off for the occasion.
“Jaime” claimed it was for a job with the Daily Caller, and that she’d been interviewed by a Kathy Johnson.
Nobody at the Daily Caller ever interviewed Jaime Phillips and no Kathy Johnson works there.
“I think I probably just want to cancel and not go through with it at this point,” Phillips said at Souvlaki Bar shortly before ending the interview.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions,” she said. “I think I’m just going to go.”
She picked up her coat and bag, returned her drink to the front counter and left the restaurant.
By 7 p.m. the message on the GoFundMe page was gone, replaced by a new one.
“Campaign is complete and no longer active,” it read.
The funny part is, they followed her and she led them right back to the Veritas offices.
The attempts to get James O’Keefe on video resulted in his acting just like those he’s busted so many times.
I can’t help but wonder if “Jaime” still has her job?