Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe released an undercover video Tuesday morning of a CNN producer saying the network's heavy coverage of possible collusion between Trump administration officials and Russia during the 2016 presidential election is “mostly bullshit.”
“I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the president committed a crime,” CNN supervising producer John Bonifield, who works in the network's medical unit, says in the clip.
“I just feel like they don’t really have it, but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me,” says Bonifield, who is filmed in a number of casual settings with his off-camera interrogator. “You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”
According to The Hill, Bonifield is speaking to an off-screen questioner in the edited clips, which O’Keefe says were taken in Atlanta by people within his organization that got into CNN.
The two talk in a number of settings, including an elevator, as if they are having a casual conversation. It appears that Bonifield does not realize that he is being filmed.
O'Keefe is a conservative provocateur who has produced a number of controversial undercover videos. He has at times been criticized for releasing videos that were selectively edited to portray people in a negative light.
In 2010, he was sentenced to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine after he plead guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from entering Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office on false pretenses.
Meanwhile, CNN says a clandestine video of one of the network's producers criticizing its coverage of President Trump is legitimate, further fraying an already strained relationship between the news network and the White House.
According to USAToday, Bonifield didn’t know that he was being taped, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment publicly. The network is not disciplining Bonifield, and CNN editors are treating the comment as Bonifield’s personal thoughts expressed in a non-official capacity, the person said.
"CNN stands by our medical producer John Bonifield. Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it," CNN said in a statement.