Huffpost Politics
Nick Wing Headshot

James O'Keefe On Wiretapping Allegations: 'Inaccurate And False'

Posted: Updated:
Print

Conservative activist James O'Keefe released a statement on Friday in which he calls allegations that he and a team of accomplices attempted to bug and wiretap the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) "inaccurate and false," but concedes that he "could have used a different approach."

Explaining what happened at Landrieu's office on Jan. 26, O'Keefe wrote on the conservative web site BigGovernment.com that "the government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu's office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false."

According to O'Keefe -- a self-described "investigative journalist" -- his primary objective is to "expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions," a goal that he says he achieved in last year's undercover investigation of ACORN.

In his statement, O'Keefe explained the purpose of his operation at Landrieu's office:

I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu's constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn't want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu's explanation was that, "Our lines have been jammed for weeks." I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for "weeks" because her phones were broken.

The next step, O'Keefe says, was to visit the Senator's office in order to "ask the staff if their phones were working."

"On reflection," O'Keefe wrote, "I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator.

He also fit in a swipe at the press, calling some of the media coverage of the events at Landrieu's office "examples of inaccurate and false reporting" from "reporters who can't get their facts straight."

Here is O'Keefe's full statement:

The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu's office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.

As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetrated by ACORN. For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.

I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu's constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn't want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu's explanation was that, "Our lines have been jammed for weeks." I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for "weeks" because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu's district office - the people's office - to ask the staff if their phones were working.

On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I'm eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.

It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story. MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent "gag order." The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I "broke in" to an office which is open to the public. The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me. And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting. The public will judge whether reporters who can't get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.