The right certainly has more than its fair share of conspiracy theory-spewing fake news personalities, and James O’Keefe of Project Veritas is one of the most well-known. Of course, he’s known for all of the times he’s tried, and failed, to doctor video, deceptively edit information, and lie to reporters hoping to catch them writing a false story, but the right has not yet abandoned him. In fact they’re sharing his latest story, a video showing people “ballot harvesting” for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), like it is the gospel truth.
It would seem to Trump’s supporters that video proof is irrefutable and that Omar has been caught red-handed breaking the law. Journalist, lawyer, and political analysis Judd Legum, the founder of Think Progress and the new Popular Information, break down the claims made by O’Keefe and others in the video, and the fake news spin becomes more clear.
O’Keefe begins by citing a Minnesota law saying that turning in absentee ballots for more than three people is illegal. That law was enjoined by the courts in 2017, making it legal to turn in ballots for others beyond the original limit of three. O’Keefe’s first claim, then, is based on a lie. The rest is based on people who purportedly didn’t know they were being taped but happily told O’Keefe that they were ballot harvesting and that “Ilhan Omar is the one who came up with all this!”
If that seems unlikely, it should.
According to Legum’s Popular Information website:
‘The Project Veritas video includes some allegations that, if true, would be illegal. For example, the video includes the allegation that people who work for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are paying people to sign blank ballots. But this allegation is made by an unidentified person, described only as a “ballot harvester,” whose face is pixelated in the video. A similar claim is made by someone not shown on camera who is identified only as a “former political worker.” Neither individual provides any proof for their claims.’
Of course, none of that has stopped right-wing personalities, and even Democrat (?) Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), from sharing the story far and wide, declaring it clear proof that the Democrats are cheating in the upcoming election. The people in the video have not been confirmed as part of any campaign efforts and their identities are unknown, but the president’s son and Trump supporters on the right have bought it hook, line, and sinker…or at least they hope the voters will.
Twitter, however, didn’t seem so likely to buy into the spin. Read some of their comments below: