Project Veritas reportedly tried to spy on HR McMaster to record anti-Trump views, dubbed 'un-American as f**k'
In a bid to expose the 'deep state', right-wing media organization Project Veritas reportedly sent female operatives undercover to record anti-Trump statements. The shocking report by New York Times cited people and documents on the matter. The report goes to show how far the Donald Trump loyalist channel went to chase what is widely believed to be a conspiracy theory.
According to the expose, Vertias trained and sent female operatives to date FBI officials, hoping to catch them making statements against Trump. The group used a similar tactic earlier to 'expose' CNN's Charlie Chester. He was caught by a Veritas reporter, who posed as a date, claiming CNN helped "get Trump out of office". This time though, Vertias targeted the FBI and even planned a sting against Trump's then-National Security Advisor, HR McMaster. The sting against McMaster was dropped eventually after he was ousted. Here's how Veritas planned to expose the 'deep state', using the help of a former British spy to do so.
Expose CNN: Project Veritas’ James O'Keefe sues Twitter for defamation after ban for allegedly using fake accounts
Who is Charlie Chester? CNN staffer EXPOSES network's 'propaganda' and focus to 'get Trump out of office'
Campaign to discredit Trump's enemies
The story was first broken by The New York Times, who were able to talk to several people involved in the operation. Veritas was reportedly encouraged to conduct the operations after Trump's frequent attacks on the FBI, CIA, State Department and others who he was convinced were trying to undermine him. The "unelected deep-state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas," he said in 2018, "are truly a threat to democracy itself."
It is unclear if anyone in the White House had knowledge of the efforts, but according to the Times, at least one person "with access to McMaster's calendar" was roped in. That was confirmed by Barbara Ledeen, a staff member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ledeen was confirmed to have a role in the operations. Leeden told the Times, "I am not part of a plot" and insisted she was merely a messenger. Leeden told the Times, “Someone she trusted” contacted her to help with the plan. She then passed on the message to a Veritas operative during a meeting at the University Club in Washington.
According to the Times, the campaign was run from a $10,000/month home in the Georgetown section of Washington that Veritas rented. From here, Veritas' female operatives arranged dates with FBI employees through various dating apps. The sting was so serious, that Veritas had a long list of regulations operatives had to follow. They were told not to receive mail at the rented property, use code names like 'Brazil' and 'Tiger' and even stop cabs at some distance from their homes if they had to return. It's unclear how many employees the operatives met or what they got.
A key cog in that effort was former spy Richard Seddon, who was reportedly recruited "in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets." Seddon reportedly taught espionage tactics that enabled operatives to build and maintain a cover in all circumstances. Reportedly, early training took place at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming and interviews at the local Cody airport hangar. Seddon left the group in mid-2018.
Another reported key target for Veritas was McMaster, who the group wanted out for unknown reasons. Veritas reportedly planned to target him after a Buzzfeed article in 2017, where McMaster called Trump an "idiot" with the intelligence of a “kindergartner”. In the end, the plan was dropped after McMaster resigned in March 2018.
Following that, Veritas allegedly planned to have a female operative stake out the restaurant, which was frequented by McMaster. When he arrived, the operative would strike up a conversation and record him making anti-Trump comments. One of the women recruited to trap McMaster was Texas journalist Tarah Price. Reportedly, Price was paid $10,000 to try to seduce McMaster at the Italian restaurant he frequented. Price, who currently works as a content coordinator at The Blaze, used to work at Veritas between 2016 and 2017. She then had a stint at Denton County Republican Party, for around 5 months. A quick scan of Price’s social media shows why she was the ideal hire for the operation - apart from her history, she frequently tweets GOP rhetoric that is strongly in line with Trump’s ideology.
Price’s involvement was exposed after her former boyfriend sent an email to ‘Project Veritas Exposed’. “Price was told she was ’going to get paid $10,000 to go undercover and set up some big-name political figure in Washington,” he wrote in May 2018. It is unclear if Price ever actually met McMaster or if the operation was called off before she had a chance.
When contacted, none of those named in the investigation offered a comment. Veritas has also slammed the article, with leader James O'Keefe calling it a "smear piece".
'Veritas managed to be as stupid as you'd expect'
When news of the expose made its way to social media, users appeared to be extremely angry with Project Veritas. One person tweeted, "What Project Veritas did is un-American as f---! Plotting against officials, including the national security adviser who took over for Traitor Flynn, by using female operatives. James O'Keefe & Erik Prince are horrible humans. And while we are at it, so is Prince's sister!"
What Project Veritas did is un-American as fuck!— Brian O'Sullivan (@osullivanauthor) May 13, 2021
Plotting against officials, including the national security adviser who took over for Traitor Flynn, by using female operatives.
James O'Keefe & Erik Prince are horrible humans.
And while we are at it, so is Prince's sister!
One person joked, "I am offering a $5,000 reward to any project veritas operative who can successfully catfish me". Another said, "This is my favorite story in forever, Project Veritas consistently manages to be exactly as stupid as you’d expect something called Project Veritas to be." Another tweeted, "I don't recognize this story as having occurred in America. It literally sounds like 1933-34 Europe."
i am offering a $5,000 reward to any project veritas operative who can successfully catfish me— lvl 46 dog-faced pony potus (@thetomzone) May 14, 2021
This is my favorite story in forever, Project Veritas consistently manages to be exactly as stupid as you’d expect something called Project Veritas to be https://t.co/grfHzD95so— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) May 14, 2021
I don't recognize this story as having occurred in America. It literally sounds like 1933-34 Europe. https://t.co/V2ihapRElt— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) May 13, 2021
Others though, including Anna Khait, who was implicated in the story, have hit back and slammed NYT. Russian-born pro poker player and former contestant on the television program 'Survivor' Khait, was reportedly tasked with seducing State Department employees. Khait also made a series of tweets, with one saying, "As always the NYT is FAKE NEWS. I never investigated the FBI when I worked undercover for Project Veritas. These baseless accusations are LOL".
Another person said, "What is it with all of these New York Times hit pieces on Project Veritas? Are they disgruntled because they lost a 'motion to dismiss' in a defamation lawsuit that Project Veritas started against them".
As always the NYT is FAKE NEWS. I never investigated the FBI when I worked undercover for Project Veritas. These baseless accusations are LOL 😂 #FakeNews— Anna Khait (@Annakhait) May 14, 2021
What is it with all of these New York Times hit pieces on Project Veritas?🤷♀️— Lonneke (@LonnekeEngel) May 14, 2021
Are they disgruntled because they lost a 'motion to dismiss' in a defamation lawsuit that Project Veritas started against them?🤔 https://t.co/sNTPIk6GtY
It's unclear who's speaking the truth here. The NYT claimed it talked to insiders who were part of the plot and viewed related documents as well. On the other hand, one of those involved (Khait), has denied the accusations. In the backdrop of the case between NYT and Veritas, it's hard to say who's speaking the truth.