James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has struck again: This time, a senior CNN producer was caught on camera by one of O’Keefe’s investigators admitting that the network’s relentless bashing of President Donald Trump with the Russia scandal lacks proof.
“Could be bullshit. I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now,” the CNN producer, John Bonifield, said in a video O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released on Tuesday, when asked about his thoughts on the Russia investigation. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof. Then they say, well there’s still an investigation going on. And you’re like, yeah, I don’t know. If they were finding something we would know about it. The way these leaks happen, they would leak it. They’d leak. If it was something really good, it would leak…. The leaks keep leaking and there’s so many great leaks, and it’s amazing. I just refuse to believe that if they had something really good like that that wouldn’t leak because we’ve been getting all these other leaks. So, I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun. You have no real proof.”
The video also shows Bonifield admitting that he has not seen evidence that Trump has committed any crimes.
“I haven’t seen any good evidence to show the president committed a crime,” Bonifield says in the video.
And even if Russia did try to influence the U.S. election, Bonifield is heard saying in the video, that is not really much of a scandal. He is seen arguing that Russian efforts to influence the election would be normal, and that the U.S. government does the same thing around the world all the time.
“Even if Russia was trying to swing an election, we try to swing their elections, our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments,” Bonifield says.
Bonifield is a supervising producer for CNN Health. According to his biography on CNN’s website, Bonifield works with the CNN Medical Unit and “primarily with CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.”
These startling admissions from a CNN producer on hidden camera video come amid many other comments the video shows him making that are particularly problematic for a network in crisis. The Project Veritas video was released on Tuesday amid the worst scandal in CNN history. Zucker, the network president, is currently leading an internal investigation into a very fake news hit piece that CNN published Thursday night then retracted late Friday after a Breitbart News investigation. He is joined, per reports from BuzzFeed News, by the head of HR inside CNN at the top of the investigation. Three of CNN’s senior-most editorial staffers have resigned as a result of the growing scandal.
In narration over the video, O’Keefe notes that “Bonifield has worked for CNN as a journalist and producer for nearly 15 years.”
“He not only gave us a tour of CNN’s main newsroom, he gave us a window into the editorial bias and anti-Trump agenda of the organization,” O’Keefe says.
O’Keefe’s Project Veritas is billing this video as part one of a multi-part investigation into what they call: “American Pravda.”
“Fake News: We start our American Pravda investigations inside American media with part one: CNN,” O’Keefe says in the video. “Our goal is to expose the real motivations behind the decision-making process at our dominant media corporations. Fake News. One story has monopolized President Trump’s time in office like no other, especially on CNN: Russia. In fact, since the Inauguration, CNN has mentioned Russia on their air nearly 16,000 times. So we sent our undercover reporters inside CNN to understand why and to determine if CNN even believes if the story is even real.”
In addition to those aforementioned revelations in the Project Veritas video, Bonifield is shown on camera saying the reason CNN leadership and management is so focused on the Russia scandal despite the lack of real proof is “because it’s ratings.”
“Our ratings are incredible right now,” the video from Project Veritas shows Bonifield saying.
In the video, Bonifield says that CNN leadership regularly axes coverage of other newsworthy stories to shift coverage back to the Russia story. He provided as an example of the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords—which he is seen saying in the video lasted less than two days—before management deliberately shifted coverage back to the Russia scandal.
“My boss, I shouldn’t say this, my boss yesterday we were having a discussion about this dental shoot and he goes and he was just like I want you to know what we are up against here,” Bonifield is seen saying. “And he goes, just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with it let’s get back to Russia.”
When asked by the Project Veritas investigator if it was the CEO of CNN—according to O’Keefe they were referring to CNN president Jeff Zucker—who made that determination, Bonifield is heard saying: “Yeah.”
“So, even the climate accords, he was like a day or so it’s okay but we’re moving back to Russia,” Bonifield says in the video.
“It’s a business,” Bonifield says in the video. “People are like the media has an ethical … But, all the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school, you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business. Especially cable news. Cable news isn’t the New York Times, and it’s not even like NBC News. I mean NBC News still gets 20 million viewers a night. Cable news is getting a million. So, they got to do what they got to do to make their money.”
Bonifield is also seen saying in the video that CNN treats President Trump much differently than CNN treated now former President Barack Obama when he was in office.
“I think there a lot of like liberal CNN viewers who want to see Trump really get scrutinized,” the CNN producer is seen saying in the video. “And I think if we would have behaved that way with President Obama and scrutinized everything that he was doing with as much scrutiny as we apply to Donald Trump, I think our viewers would have been turned off. I think they would have felt like we were attacking him. And I’m not saying all of our viewers are super liberals, I think there’s just a lot of them.”
He adds that: “Trump is good for business right now.”