Undercover video filmed by investigative journalist James O’Keefe shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents interrogating the media pundit over his recent reporting and opinions on Donald Trump.
After being detained while traveling multiple times following his coverage on the U.S.-Mexico border, where he crossed into Texas dressed as Osama Bin Laden to highlight the border’s lax security, the Veritas Project founder says he began filming his encounters after landing at an airport in Montreal last June.
Noting a large “X” on his travel documentation, the young reporter says he attempted to get an explanation from Customs, who “changed their tone dramatically” after putting his name into their computer.
“Maybe you’ve passed the border before in a disguise?” the agent says.
After denying that the treatment was retaliation for embarrassing Customs, the agent orders the journalist to a private room for a nearly hour-long interrogation.
Following several questions on the business model and future plans of the Veritas Project, one agent admits that Customs is worried about O’Keefe’s potential to further embarrass the agency.
“I feel that the reason why they put that hit on you — They don’t want you to pull a fast one on us,” the agent says, admittedly worried about getting “egg on their face.”
In perhaps the most bizarre question, the agents then ask the reporter to disclose his views on presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
“The conversation turned to presidential politics,” O’Keefe says. “I was so flabbergasted by the question, I couldn’t even form a coherent response.”
11 days later while passing through Customs in Seattle, O’Keefe says he was able to catch a glimpse of the agency’s computer screen and noticed a statement labeling him as an “amateur reporter engaged in publicity stunts.”
“Now we have confirmation that they are actually looking at a screen that tells them the journalism that we’ve done and shows that they’re retaliating against us,” O’Keefe says.
The harassment reveals the federal government’s disdain for reporters who expose malfeasance, corruption and failed policy.
O’Keefe stated on Twitter today that more videos exposing his treatment by Homeland Security and U.S. Customs would be released early Thursday morning.