Sec­ond CNN Rus­sia tape comes to light

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

CNN was hit Wed­nes­day with a sec­ond un­der­cover video, this one fea­tur­ing reg­u­lar po­lit­i­cal con­trib­u­tor Van Jones call­ing the Rus­sia con­tro­versy a “noth­ing burger.”

The video shows Mr. Jones, a former Obama White House ad­viser, speak­ing on hid­den cam­era af­ter be­ing greeted by a Project Ver­i­tas in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

“The Rus­sia thing is just a big noth­ing burger,” Mr. Jones says on the clip.

The video comes a day af­ter Project Ver­i­tas re­leased footage show­ing CNN pro­ducer John Boni­field say­ing that CNN has pushed what he called the “bullsh--” Rus­sia story in or­der to juice rat­ings.

CNN and other net­works have ex­ten­sively cov­ered Rus­sia’s at­tempts to in­flu­ence the elec­tion, now un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by House and Se­nate com­mit­tees, while Democrats have tried to tie Pres­i­dent Trump’s cam­paign to the ef­forts.

Project Ver­i­tas Pres­i­dent James O’Keefe said the lat­est video shows “one of CNN’s most prom­i­nent left-lean­ing po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors in to­tal agree­ment with Pres­i­dent Trump.”

A CNN spokesman re­sponded by email to a re­quest for com­ment from the Wash­ing­ton Times by writ­ing, “LOL.”

In a Dec. 18 CNN seg­ment in­cluded on the Project Ver­i­tas footage, Mr. Jones crit­i­cized the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion for reach­ing out to Rus­sia “in the face of an ac­tive at­tack on the coun­try.”

More re­cently though, he has tried to warn off Democrats fix­ated on the Rus­sia-Trump con­nec­tion. In a June 23 video Q&A on Twit­ter, Mr. Jones said he was “glad there is a Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tion and I hope they get to the bot­tom of it,” but also ex­pressed skep­ti­cism.

“I think Democrats are fool­ing our­selves if we think that some­thing is go­ing to come out of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion that is some­how go­ing to end the Trump Pres­i­dency and make ev­ery­thing bet­ter,” said Mr. Jones. “Un­less there is a real smok­ing gun, which there is prob­a­bly not, it’s just go­ing to be a big old mess.”

Nigel Farage, leader of the pro-Brexit U.K. In­de­pen­dence Party, re­acted to the video dis­clo­sures Wed­nes­day in a tweet say­ing, “It’s not look­ing good for CNN.”

“@re­alDon­aldTrump was right when he called this a witch hunt,” Mr. Farage said.

Mr. Jones had no public com­ment im­me­di­ately af­ter the re­lease of the sec­ond video, part of the un­der­cover group’s “Amer­i­can Pravda” se­ries on the news in­dus­try.

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