How Undercover Journalism Turned the Tide in 2016
In mid-October 2016, while on business in New York, I swung over to New Jersey to visit with my relatives. At dinner that evening, my brother, then in in the early stages of TDS — it has since metastasized; pray for him — was gloating over Hillary's impending victory.
I asked my brother if he were willing to bet on it. He most certainly was. He was sufficiently confident to give me 7 to 1 odds. I took it. Based on what I knew, I would have taken the bet at even money. I had inside info.
Earlier in the day, I had popped up to visit James O'Keefe at the Project Veritas offices north of the city. My timing was excellent. O'Keefe was in the middle of rolling out his "Rigging the Election" series of undercover videos.
A few days earlier, O'Keefe had released as part of the series a video recorded by the irrepressible Laura Loomer. Laura was twenty-three at the time. If there is a ballsier journalist/activist in America, I have not met him. Today, Loomer is the Republican candidate for Congress in Florida's 21st District.
Loomer caught Alan Schulkin, a Democrat on New York's Board of Elections, in a moment of rare candor. "I think there is a lot of voter fraud," admitted Schulkin. "People don't realize, certain neighborhoods in particular they bus people around to vote." When Loomer asked him to identify the neighborhoods, Schulkin specified black, Hispanic, and Chinese.
This was not a lead the major media were prepared to follow up on. The New York Daily News attacked Project Veritas. The New York Times did its best to ignore it.
O'Keefe's next bombshell was harder to ignore. A Project Veritas reporter had been posing as a young Democrat organizer named "Steve" in Wisconsin and gained the trust of the higher-ups, most notably Scott Foval. Foval was then deputy director of People for the American Way, an outfit founded by TV producer Norman Lear and funded by George Soros among others.
Like many campaign strategists, Foval liked to boast. He began by sharing with Steve the many ways in which Democrats move people around to affect the outcome of an election. As though speaking to an imagined Republican, Foval claimed, "Well you know what? We've been bussing people in to deal with you f------ a------- for fifty years and we're not going to stop now." Vote fraud is old news, but Foval moved into new territory: a phenomenon he called "bird-dogging."
"You remember the Iowa State Fair thing where Scott Walker grabbed the sign out of the dude's hand, and then the dude kind of gets roughed up right in front of the stage right there on camera?" Foval asked Steve.
"We train our people, and I work with a network of groups," explained Foval. "We train them up on how to get themselves into a situation on tape, on camera, that we can use later." Unwittingly, Foval was committing to video the way Democratic operatives were using their own people to foment violence at Trump rallies, for which Trump people were inevitably blamed.
"I'm saying we have mentally ill people that we pay to do shit. Make no mistake," Foval continued. "Over the last twenty years, I've paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I've also taken them for dinner, and I've also made sure they had a hotel and a shower, and I put them in a program. Like I've done that. But the reality is, a lot of people, especially, our union guys, a lot of union guys, they'll do whatever you want. They're rock 'n roll."
Foval conveniently laid out the hierarchy of the bird-dogging network. "The [Clinton] campaign pays DNC," he told Steve. "DNC pays Democracy Partners. Democracy Partners pays The Foval Group. The Foval Group goes and executes the s--- on the ground."
Foval reported directly to Bob Creamer at Democracy Partners. "Bob Creamer is diabolical," said Foval, "and I love him for it. I have learned so much from that man over the last twenty years, I can't even tell you." Bob Creamer, the husband of a Chicago-area congresswoman, had already served time for bank fraud, a useful credential for running the dirty tricks campaign against Donald Trump.
According to White House visitor logs, Creamer had made more than 340 trips to the White House while Obama was president, occasionally with Obama present at the meeting. Foval described Creamer as "the black hat" to his "white hat."
O'Keefe sat on the Foval video for months. In the interim, through a clever and involved strategy, he and his Project Veritas team succeeded in getting a 21-year-old reporter, "Angela," an internship at Democracy Partners. Creamer took a shine to Angela, bringing her to the DNC offices and even inviting her to the White House, which opportunity she ducked lest she get busted for entering under a false identity.
Creamer shared some of the secrets of bird-dogging with his new intern. He explained that "DREAMers" were some of their most effective troublemakers. "They're just pros at this," said Creamer. When Angela asked for clarification, Creamer explained, "Dreamers are the category of people brought here as children, as immigrants." He singled out one particular individual whose "crew is spectacular at it." For the record, these "pros" were in the country illegally. That did not seem to bother Creamer.
"So Hillary is aware of all the work that you guys do, I hope?" Angela asked. "Oh yeah," said Creamer. "Yes. The campaign is fully in it."
When I headed back to New Jersey that day, I knew that all this and more was about to hit the news, and it hit powerfully enough to shift the momentum. During the final Las Vegas debate, Trump did not hesitate to bring up the dirty tricks campaign Hillary and her people had orchestrated.
As I relate in my new book, Unmasking Obama, O'Keefe, Loomer, and scores of other irregular journalists did the investigative work the major media refused to during the Obama years. Their efforts ultimately paved the way to Trump's victory.
Let me conclude with a tip: if you're taking book on 2020, factor in some more good dope from Project Veritas.
Jack Cashill's new book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, is now widely available. Also see www.Cashill.com.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.