- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2016

The liberal magazine Mother Jones is locking horns with Project Veritas Action after the release of undercover footage last week in which a Democratic insider credits fellow operatives for an election-defining scoop in 2012.

In the two-minute Project Veritas clip, Americans United for Change national field director Scott Foval said a lawyer working with Democratic operatives arranged for a bartender to record a 2012 Republican fundraiser in Florida, at which Mitt Romney said 47 percent of voters are “dependent upon government.”

“They are the ones who negotiated to get that lawyer in Florida who recorded the ‘47 percent video,’” Mr. Foval said in the undercover footage, referring to Democratic strategist Robert Creamer and his team.

Mother Jones’ Washington bureau chief, David Corn, who won the 2012 George Polk Award for his story exposing the “47 percent” video, described Mr. Foval’s assertion in the footage as “100 percent false” and stood by his explanation that the Romney video came from a bartender there.

In an article last week, Mr. Corn said he contacted the bartender, who called Mr. Foval’s account “nonsense,” and spoke with Mr. Foval, who told him that his statements about the hidden-camera footage were wrong.

Mr. Corn said Mr. Foval told him that “what I said wasn’t accurate” and explained that he mistakenly conflated two different campaign events.

In the Project Veritas video, Mr. Foval said, a lawyer gave a cellphone to a bartender working at the fundraiser because the Romney campaign had banned phones.

“The lawyer took his phone and had the bartender walk around and set it up,” Mr. Foval said in the video. “It was a whole coordinated operation to get the phone in because they had taken away all the cellphones from all the staff, and so what they did was they set it up in the room.”

Asked who the lawyer was, Mr. Foval said, “I have no idea who it is. But they, the people who did the operation, they have a team of like 25 folks. That this is what they do.”

Mr. Corn, who also serves as an MSNBC political analyst, said he and Project Veritas President James O’Keefe had a discussion in which they sparred over the decision to post the Foval video.

“O’Keefe’s supposed expose, which Bill O’Reilly promoted on Fox News, rests on a mistaken, jumbled, brief anecdote told by a fellow with no direct link to the 47 percent video — who admits he got it wrong,” Mr. Corn said. “And there was no effort to substantiate this account.”

Project Veritas spokesman Stephen Gordon said there was no need to do so.

“The video speaks for itself,” Mr. Gordon said. “We believe Americans are smart enough to look at the footage for themselves and make their own assessments without the filter of the mainstream media.”

Those critical of Project Veritas Action’s “Rigging the Election” series have called on Mr. O’Keefe to post the unedited footage from the undercover probe, which he has refused to do, saying no other journalistic outlet would release its raw reporting.

Mr. Foval was fired shortly after the release of the first video Oct. 17, and Mr. Creamer has stepped down from his role with the Democratic presidential campaign.

Project Veritas has released four roughly 16-minute videos showing behind-the-scenes political operatives saying they planted paid agitators at events for Republican Donald Trump in order to bait his supporters into inciting violence.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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