CNN’s Van Jones calls Russia ‘nothing burger’ video ‘edited, right-wing propaganda’
After being secretly filmed by conservative organization Project Veritas, CNN political commentator Van Jones said his words on Russia were taken out of context and called the video a “hoax.”
Project Veritas uploaded a video on YouTube Wednesday, which showed Jones referring to the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election as “a big nothing burger,” and adding, “There is nothing you can do.”
On Thursday, Jones wrote an Op-Ed for CNN, criticizing the man behind the camera and founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, accusing him of editing the video to take his words out of context.
“If you take any one line of my argument out of context, you can use it to pull off a hoax,” Jones wrote. “That's what O'Keefe's minions did.”
Jones began his piece criticized O'Keefe a “notorious con artist” and stated that he has been busted “so many times” for posting videos that are “fake” and “doctored.”
The CNN commentator cited the fact that O'Keefe agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit after he secretly filmed employees at an ACORN office in California in 2009. Additionally, Jones cited an instance in 2010, where O'Keefe pleaded guilty to entering federal property under false pretenses in order to investigate complaints that staff members at former Senator Mary Landrieu's (D-Louisiana) office were ignoring phone calls from constituents.
“In other words: O'Keefe is the kind of person from whom decent people run like the plague,” Jones said.
Jones also criticized Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who encouraged “everybody across the country” to watch one of O'Keefe's recent videos during Tuesday’s press briefing, despite questioning its accuracy.
After the video was released, President Donald Trump posted it on his Instagram page, along with a message that called CNN “fake news.”
“I honestly can't figure out the thought process of people who work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue anymore,” Jones wrote. “But the White House embracing a hoaxer like O'Keefe was a low moment for those of us who believe in the dignity of our nation's highest office.”
Jones then broke down the short video, explaining that when he told O'Keefe “there is nothing you can do,” he was talking about Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump. Jones said that there will be no evidence from the investigation that would cause the Republicans to impeach Trump.
“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,” Jones said in a recent Twitter chat. “Unless there is a real smoking gun, which there is probably not, it's just going to be a big old mess.”
Jones states that he believes “there probably was collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. He also thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin “must have something over Trump,” and Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in order to stop the investigation.
However, Jones ended the piece by saying that he thinks Trump will not be impeached during his first term, or if he is, he will still be president until 2020.
He called on those who oppose Trump to leave the investigation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“The rest of us can best undercut Trump by focusing on real issues that will bring voters back to the Democratic Party - creating jobs, fighting poverty, battling addiction, defending democracy and human rights, winning health care for all,” Jones wrote.