- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CNN was hit Wednesday with a second undercover video, this one featuring regular political contributor Van Jones calling the Russia controversy a “nothing burger.”

The video shows Mr. Jones, a former Obama White House adviser, speaking on hidden camera after being greeted by a Project Veritas investigator.

“The Russia thing is just a big nothing burger,” Mr. Jones says on the clip.

The video comes a day after Project Veritas released footage showing CNN producer John Bonifield saying that CNN has pushed what he called the “bullsh—” Russia story in order to juice ratings.

CNN and other networks have extensively covered Russia’s attempts to influence the election, now under investigation by House and Senate committees, while Democrats have tried to tie President Trump’s campaign to the efforts.

Project Veritas President James O’Keefe said the latest video shows “one of CNN’s most prominent left-leaning political commentators in total agreement with President Trump.”

A CNN spokesman responded by email to a request for comment from the Washington Times by writing, “LOL.”

In a Dec. 18 CNN segment included on the Project Veritas footage, Mr. Jones criticized the Trump administration for reaching out to Russia “in the face of an active attack on the country.”

More recently though, he has tried to warn off Democrats fixated on the Russia-Trump connection. In a June 23 video Q&A on Twitter, Mr. Jones said he was “glad there is a Russian investigation and I hope they get to the bottom of it,” but also expressed skepticism.

“I think Democrats are fooling ourselves if we think that something is going to come out of this investigation that is somehow going to end the Trump Presidency and make everything better,” said Mr. Jones. “Unless there is a real smoking gun, which there is probably not, it’s just going to be a big old mess.”

Nigel Farage, leader of the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party, reacted to the video disclosures Wednesday in a tweet saying, “It’s not looking good for CNN.”

“@realDonaldTrump was right when he called this a witch hunt,” Mr. Farage said.

Mr. Jones had no public comment immediately after the release of the second video, part of the undercover group’s “American Pravda” series on the news industry.

After Tuesday’s video, CNN issued a statement describing Mr. Bonifield as a “medical producer” and saying that, “Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it.”

In comments at the end of the Jones video, Mr. O’Keefe said there were more disclosures to come.

“There you have it. Van Jones admits the Russia story is just a nothing burger. Bonifield says it’s all about ratings,” said Mr. O’Keefe. “The media for years has gotten away with manufacturing consent. People are fed up … change is coming, whether CNN likes it or not.”

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

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