Questions have been raised after allies of Donald Trump were accused in a lengthy report of The New York Times to employ female spies, including a former Survivor, to go on undercover dates with FBI agents and even a senior Trump official in a plot to root out supposed enemies in government in 2018.
Time reported that Tory allies recruited several women for “sting” surgery, trained them and asked them to deceive targets and encourage them to insult Mr. Trump while using a hidden camera to capture interactions.
The newspaper reported that the campaign was led by former British undercover spy Richard Seddon and planned to target Mr. Trump’s national security adviser HR McMaster and FBI employees to erase perceived anti-Trump sentiment in the within government.
However, the group allegedly behind the operation, Project Veritas, called Time’ reporting a “slander piece” claiming the outlet had a “continuing pattern of slander” against them. The reality TV star named in the report has also publicly denied the allegations.
A “cheeky” plan to target Mr. McMaster allegedly involved recruiting a woman to set up a restaurant frequented by the official while carrying a hidden camera, Time mentionned. The agent reportedly aims to strike up a conversation with Mr McMaster and film him saying something damaging about the former president.
On Thursday, James O’Keefe, the head of Project Veritas, said the article was written because the newspaper was “losing to Project Veritas in court,” adding that theTime “Was instead trying to smear Project Veritas in the court of public opinion.”
Time confirmed that Project Veritas sued the newspaper for libel last year. The organization did not respond to specific questions about the operations of Time. The independent contacted the group for further comment.
Time accused Anna Khait, a professional poker player and former contestant on the reality show Survivor, to be a woman operator in the effort. Ms Khait is said to have been involved in a number of operations, including a State Department employee.
Ms Khait did not respond to a request for comment from Time but disputed the claims of the article when it was published in a series of articles on Twitter.
“JOURNALISTS are supposed to investigate and control our government. Instead, the New York Times attack those who do THEIR job! Incredible, ”she said.
She insisted that she “never investigated the FBI when I was working undercover for Project Veritas” and called the charges “baseless”.
The independent contacted Ms Khait for further comments.
Another woman who was reportedly recruited for such operations was reportedly offered “$ 10,000 to go undercover and install a prominent political figure in Washington.”
Time claimed that the officers allegedly involved were assessed on the basis of their political beliefs during an interview process in which they were asked which platforms they received their news from and which celebrities they were going to invite to a dinner party.
The newspaper also alleged that they had been trained in the art of deception to ensure they could secure the information of potential targets. The exercises reportedly included training “students” on how to overcome police interrogation and target a person in an elevator.
“The student must create and maintain a fictitious cover”, a document obtained by Time who revealed Mr. Seddon’s espionage tactics reportedly said.
These agents were reportedly housed in a $ 10,000-per-month residence in Georgetown, Washington, and had code names such as “Brazil” and “Tiger”. They would have created fake profiles on dating applications to seduce their targets.
The newspaper said its account of the plans was based on more than a dozen interviews with former Project Veritas employees and others familiar with the campaign, as well as current and former government officials and documents. Internal Project Veritas.
Time reports that it is not known whether Mr. Trump’s advisers in the White House had direct knowledge of the campaign. The alleged operation against Mr McMaster was reportedly dropped after he resigned in 2018.
Mr McMaster declined to comment when contacted by Time. Mr Seddon did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.
Climate crisis: US resumes data after four-year hiatus under Trump
Pennsylvania voters to decide on racial fairness amendment
What insurrection? Rising GOP Count Minimizes Jan 6