CNN said it is involving “law enforcement” after James O’Keefe, the founder of the right-wing group Project Veritas, crashed a morning editorial call with CNN President Jeff Zucker and said Project Veritas would be releasing tapes from previously recorded phone calls.
“Legal experts say this may be a felony. We’ve referred it to law enforcement,” the CNN PR account tweeted on Tuesday in response to a video of the call O’Keefe posted on Twitter.
In the video, O’Keefe can be seen unmuting himself on a phone and telling Zucker, “We’ve been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months and recording everything. Just wanted to ask you some questions, if you have a minute. Do you still feel you are the most trusted name in news? Because I have to say from what I’ve been hearing on these phone calls, I don’t know about that. I mean, we’ve got a lot of recordings that indicate you’re not really that independent of a journalist.”
“Thank you for your comments. So everybody, in light of that, I think what we’ll do is we’ll set up a new system and we’ll be back with you, we’ll do the rest of the call a little bit later,” Zucker responded.
“We’re going to release those recordings today at 7 o’clock. So stay tuned, it’s going to be fun,” O’Keefe said.
Project Veritas, which has a long and documented history of failed sting operations, and also of releasing deceptively edited and out of context videos, has conducted an operation it calls “Expose CNN” since 2017. The effort includes various “sting” operations and the release of undercover footage and audio purporting to show bias at the network. Though so far, the network has largely laughed off these videos.
A spokesperson for CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.