Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe released an undercover video Tuesday morning of a CNN producer saying the network’s heavy coverage of possible collusion between Trump administration officials and Russia during the 2016 election is “mostly bullshit.”
“I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime,” CNN supervising producer John Bonifield, who works in the network’s medical unit, says in the clip.
“I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me,” says Bonnifield, who is filmed in a number of casual settings with his off-camera interrogator. “You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”
Bonifield is speaking to an off-screen questioner in the edited clips, which O’Keefe says were taken in Atlanta by people within his organization that got into CNN.
The two talk in a number of settings, including an elevator, as if they are having a casual conversation. It appears that Bonifield does not realize that he is being filmed.
O’Keefe is a conservative provocateur who has produced a number of controversial undercover videos. He has at times been criticized for releasing videos that were selectively edited to portray people in a negative light. O’Keefe has also donned costumes in past videos as part of undercover projects to get people to talk on camera.
In 2010, he was sentenced to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine after he plead guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from entering Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuNew O’Keefe video shows CNN producer calling Russia coverage ‘mostly bullshit’ GOP’s message on ObamaCare is us versus them Meet Mitch Landrieu, the 2020 dark-horse Dem MORE’s (D-La.) office on false pretenses.
Bonifield also mocked “cutesy little ethics” around journalism in making the argument that the business side of news gathering is more important.
“All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you’re just like, that’s adorable,” Bonfield said. “That’s adorable. This is a business.”
Bonifield also discussed CNN President Jeff Zucker’s editorial input in an internal meeting earlier this month after coverage of Trump’s decision to pull the United States from an international climate deal.
“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords,” recalls Bonifield. “And the CEO of CNN [Zucker] said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”
New York Times writer Sopan Deb questioned O’Keefe’s latest work around CNN, stating there was “better than 90 percent chance” the videos “were deceptively edited.”
“One guy’s private comments, by the way, judging from the source, that there is a better than 90 percent chance they were edited deceptively,” wrote Deb.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>One guy's private comments, by the way, judging from the source, that there is a better than 90% chance they were edited deceptively.</p>— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) <a href=”https://twitter.com/SopanDeb/status/879677098327257089“>June 27, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The Hill has reached out to Bonifield and CNN for comment.