James O’Keefe began his presentation Thursday evening to Connecticut Republicans amid an uproar from the state’s Democrats and media, who accused him of being a “trickster” and the producer of “selectively edited” and “deceptive hidden videos.”
But, then again, that’s a normal day for the founder of Project Veritas, whose new campaign refrain is “Be Brave. Do Something.”
The Connecticut GOP hosted O’Keefe for what was called an “Evening of Enlightenment.” The undercover investigator reviewed his decade-long career devoted to exposing corruption and abuse of power in government, teachers’ unions, the media, and big tech.
— Voter Integrity (@VoteChecker) October 25, 2019
O’Keefe, the author of American Pravda, poked fun at some of the accounts of his anticipated arrival in Connecticut.
The headline of the Journal Inquirer’s lead story on October 18, read, “GOP Speaker Panned: Creator of Deceptive Videos Invited by State Party to Fundraiser.” The Inquirer reported:
Connecticut Republicans have invited James O’Keefe, a self-styled investigative reporter with a reputation as a trickster for producing deceptive hidden videos, to headline an event Thursday, and Democratic leaders are criticizing the selection. Reputable news organizations, including the Washington Post, have said that O’Keefe’s practices are intended to dupe viewers and embarrass subjects through deception and manipulation.
According to the Inquirer, former Connecticut lieutenant governor and current Connecticut Democrat Party Chairwoman Nancy Wyman denounced the state GOP for extending the invitation to O’Keefe.
“The Connecticut Republicans should be ashamed to be hosting James O’Keefe at a Shelton fundraiser next week,” Wyman said, according to the report.
How ironic that in an era when the Republican President (Donald Trump) complains about fake news, the state party invited the greatest practitioner. Mr. O’Keefe’s staged encounters that are secretly recorded and deceptively edited have been proven false and misleading, and they ruin reputations.
The investigator, however, laughed off the insults, boasting instead of the “hundreds” of news outlet retractions that grace the wall of his office.
BREAKING: @CNN President Jeff Zucker rushed to his waiting car outside of the #CITIZENCNN event yesterday in NYC; Zucker avoided answering @Project_Veritas questions on @realDonaldTrump threat to sue the network citing #ExposeCNN.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 25, 2019
State GOP Chairman J.R. Romano told Breitbart News that “if Democrats aren’t complaining, I’m not doing my job.”
Unfortunately, in the state of Connecticut, the Democrats don’t see residents as anything but a revenue source, and so whatever they can do to raise revenue, they’re going to do, whether it’s tolls, whether it’s grocery tax, you’re just a way to fund government to them.
Romano said, “People need to hear the Project Veritas stories.”
“I think there’s value in what Project Veritas does, in terms of power and government accountability – it’s something that we need,” he said.
O’Keefe began his presentation by taking his audience back to his first big investigation when he was only 24, living with his grandparents, and had only a YouTube account to his name. Wearing his grandmother’s fur jacket, he and 20-year-old Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and a prostitute and exposed ACORN, a taxpayer-funded social justice organization of grassroots groups that worked for voter registration, housing, and other social issues in low-income communities.
O’Keefe reflected that, after just one week of releasing videos that bared the corruption in ACORN, the Democrat-controlled Congress passed a bill to defund the organization and President Barack Obama signed it into law.
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 11, 2019
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019
While once O’Keefe needed to go undercover into the targeted organizations himself, now whistleblowers are contacting him, asking him for help to expose corruption and abuse in their companies.
Some of the whistleblowers, in fact, now work for Project Veritas, including Eric Cochran, who exposed Pinterest. Both Cochran and Cary Poarch, who exposed CNN recently, spoke to Republicans in Connecticut and urged them to do the same, attesting that O’Keefe and his team will back them up.
“This is the future,” O’Keefe said to his audience. “Our heroes … are not TV pundits, they’re brave citizens who find themselves in circumstances where they have to make a difference.”
Pointing to Cochran and Poarch, O’Keefe added, “There are hundreds of people like these two, and we’re gonna find them, and we’re gonna give them hidden cameras, and if you’re lying, cheating, stealing, doing something corrupt, you may just find yourself to be the next unwilling internet celebrity.”