Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who provided informal advice to then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, also reportedly arranged for the group Project Veritas to receive “training in intelligence and elicitation techniques” to aid them in their controversial video projects.
Project Veritas, headed by self-described “guerilla journalist” James O’Keefe, is known for creating dubious videos in which they film political figures without their knowledge. The group then takes these videos, edits them in a heavily deceptive way, and uses them as “proof” to allege wrongdoings by those individuals they initially filmed, according to SourceWatch.org.
To help them in their efforts, Prince allegedly set up a meeting for Project Veritas members to learn about additional techniques for getting their subjects to dish out revealing information to them. The training came from a retired military intelligence operative, according to reporting from The Intercept.
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) May 3, 2019
That training was short-lived, however, as the operative ended up quitting just weeks after starting, complaining at the time that the group wasn’t capable of learning the methods he was trying to teach them.
Prince is the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and has strong ties to the Trump administration, even beyond his sibling’s executive branch role.
As previously reported by HillReporter.com, Prince previously testified before Congress in 2016 that he didn’t have any official or unofficial role in Trump’s presidential campaign — a contention he later admitted was not true, as he had met with the Trump team in the run-up to the election to “talk about Iran policy.”
Project Veritas also has a Trump connection. Just weeks before he announced his candidacy for president, Trump made a $10,000 donation to the organization. He’s also shared their work many times on social media.