O'Keefe video shows CNN's Van Jones calling Russia story a ‘nothingburger’

Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe of Project Veritas released Wednesday another secretly recorded tape of a CNN employee, this time featuring political commentator and host Van Jones saying the network’s heavy coverage of possible collusion between Trump administration officials and Russia during the 2016 presidential election “is just a big nothingburger."

“The Russia thing is just a big nothingburger. There’s nothing there you can do," Jones says to a person who introduces himself on the street as someone who had met Jones "in Palm Springs" a few years ago. 

Jones appears to recognize the person he is speaking to, but does not seem to know he is being taped.

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"Van Jones" quickly began trending on Twitter after O'Keefe released the video through his personal Twitter account; the video was also released by the official Project Veritas account.

The 32-year-old O'Keefe founded Project Veritas in 2010 and has produced a number of controversial undercover videos. He has at times been criticized for releasing content that was selectively edited to portray people in a negative light. O’Keefe has also donned costumes in past videos as part of undercover projects to get people to talk on camera.

In 2010, he was sentenced to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from entering then-Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office on false pretenses.

On Monday night, Project Veritas released a video of a medical producer at CNN saying that while he believes the Trump-Russia narrative is “bullshit,” CEO Jeff Zucker has instructed his employees to focus on it to help boost the network’s ratings.

“CNN stands by our medical producer John Bonifield,” CNN said in a statement about the first video. “Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it.”

CNN has extensively covered investigations and stories around Trump associates possibly colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.