POLITICS

Counter-Sting Catches James O'Keefe Network Attempting To Sow Chaos At Trump's Inauguration

The stinger gets stung.

01/09/2017 15:57 EST | Updated 01/18/2017 16:34 EST
Lauren Windsor
A screengrab from the video released Monday by The Undercurrent.

UPDATE: A longer video of the interaction between Project Veritas operative Allison Maass and Ryan Clayton of Americans Take Action was posted online Tuesday. In it, Clayton confirms with Maass that her goal is indeed to incite a riot at the inauguration. “What you’re asking for, let’s bullet point it,” Clayton says, referring to the donor Maass claims to be representing. “He says, I’ll give you $100,000 to shut down a bridge, incite a riot and make sure we hack the media narrative on the inauguration.”

Maass says he has it right. “You said you could do stuff like that. He says he likes it. Would you actually do it?” 

Earlier:

WASHINGTON ― A left-wing political group released a new video Monday of a counter-sting that has uncovered evidence of right-wing activists trying to sow chaos at Donald Trump’s inaugural ceremony, an effort to portray critics of Trump who march against him as violent fringe figures.

The counter-sting, carried out by The Undercurrent and Americans Take Action, a project of a previous target of provocateur James O’Keefe, managed to surreptitiously record elements of O’Keefe’s network offering huge sums of money to progressive activists if they would disrupt the ceremony and “put a stop to the inauguration” and the related proceedings to such a degree that donors to the clandestine effort would “turn on a TV and maybe not even see Trump.” To have riots blot out coverage of Trump, the donor offered “unlimited resources,” including to shut down bridges into D.C.

The Undercurrent, led by executive producer Lauren Windsor, is sponsored by American Family Voices, which was among a constellation of groups infiltrated by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas during the presidential campaign, an effort to link Democrats with voter fraud.

Windsor told HuffPost that for now, the group is only releasing an edited version of the video. One of the conservative operatives recorded on it by The Undercurrent was Allison Maass, who previously was caught attempting to infiltrate the Senate campaign of Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, as well as the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Maass was also a lead infiltrator during the voter fraud campaign.

Windsor, in investigating Project Veritas, discovered the name of a front group, Breakthrough Dev Group, that O’Keefe was using to set up stings. Somebody from BDG contacted an allied group, which reached out to activist Ryan Clayton. Windsor arranged to have the meeting secretly recorded. (It’s likely Maass was recording as well. It is plausible that O’Keefe’s plan was not to disrupt to the inaugural, but instead to catch lefties offering to do so.)

“It was my pleasure to work with the highly skilled operatives who pulled off this reverse sting of political conman James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas cohorts,” Clayton told HuffPost.

When attempting to infiltrate the Feingold campaign, Maass gave her name as Allison Moss, but listed a phone number that was publicly traceable to her Yonkers home and her real name of Allison Maass. Maass did not return a voicemail left Monday by HuffPost. Maass also left an email with the Feingold campaign, which HuffPost reached out to for comment. O’Keefe, rather than Maass, responded with a phone call, but said he wasn’t able to immediately comment without more information. 

Trump’s charitable foundation has contributed to O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, and Trump invited O’Keefe to a presidential debate. 

Below, The YoungTurks discuss the sting: