Yesterday afternoon James O’Keefe released a new video as part of his ‘Project Veritas’ initiative. The video, titled ‘American Pravda Part II’ featured a short clip outside of CNN headquarters where Van Jones stated “The whole Russia thing is a big nothing-burger. There is nothing you can do –”
Clearly the video was edited and Jones didn’t get to finish what he was saying, yet O’Keefe and his team portrayed the clip in a way which tried to paint Jones and CNN as ‘fake news’. Since the release of the video approximately 24 hours ago, CNN nor Van Jones have been fairly silent, yet millions of people have viewed the video clip. The Trump administration even recommended that people watch it, despite knowing about O’Keefe’s not-so-honest past. Just a few minutes ago, however, Van Jones published an article giving his side of the story.
“Serious question: Is anyone out there still gullible enough to fall for an edited, right-wing propaganda video — in 2017?Apparently, the Trump White House is. (SAD) James O’Keefe and his band of crazies are at it again. This time I am one of the targets. Yesterday, O’Keefe released a so-called “bombshell” video of me, standing outside CNN’s Los Angeles bureau. I was answering a passerby’s question by saying: “The whole Russia thing is a big nothing-burger. There is nothing you can do –” before I was cut off by the arrival of my CNN coworkers. More on what I actually meant in a moment.”
Van Jones then goes on to provide details on the criminal background of O’Keefe and the cons that he perpetrated in the past, before finally explaining exactly what was mean by his statements and how he feels about the current Trump/Russia investigation:
“So let’s turn back to the latest video from James O’Keefe, where I was supposedly caught on camera shrugging off the Russia investigation.
Interviewer: “What do you think is going to happen this week with the whole Russian thing?
Van Jones: “The whole Russia thing is a big nothing-burger. There is nothing you can do –”
Did I mean that there is “nothing” to the allegations that members of team Trump colluded with the Russians and then tried to cover it up by firing FBI Director James Comey? No — and far from it.
But that’s not what I was talking about. I have been consistently pushing my fellow Democrats to deal with bread and butter issues — and not just hope and believe Trump will be impeached and gone tomorrow. I have been beating this drum for weeks now.
I said in a recent Twitter chat: “I am glad there is a Russia investigation, and I hope they get to the bottom of it. But 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. Unless there is a real smoking gun, which there is probably not, it’s just going to be a big old mess. Meanwhile we are not talking about jobs, not talking about poverty, not talking about solutions, not talking about the addiction crisis. Let’s talk about our stuff.”
In other words, no evidence is going to emerge (“THIS WEEK,” soon, or maybe ever) that is powerful enough to force the craven GOP to oust Trump. Too many Democrats see the Russia controversy as some kind of magical “get out of jail free” card. They insist that we will be delivered from our misery — as soon as the next shoe drops and Trump is impeached.
I understand the appeal of this line of thinking. In fact, I agree with many of the basic points:
• I do think Putin must have something over Trump, because Putin is the only person (besides Ivanka) whom Trump never disses. Given how Trump lashes out at everyone else, that fact alone is fishy.
• I think there probably was collusion by some people in the Trump campaign with Russian operatives.
• I think Trump fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation (which Trump has all but admitted, himself). That’s obstruction of justice, in my book.”
The narrative that the Trump-funded O’Keefe wanted the the American people to hear was that Van Jones believed that the investigation and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was simply a ‘nothing burger’. In reality, however, if Jones was permitted to complete his sentence, we would have seen that he was talking about the GOP doing anything about it. You see, highly edited clips are not ‘real news’ but words directly from the man who made these remarks are!