Conservative donor Mercer donated to O'Keefe project: report

Conservative donor Mercer donated to O'Keefe project: report
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A billionaire conservative Trump donor also gave money to an activist organization that is now under new scrutiny for what critics say are underhanded techniques. 

Tax filings reported by BuzzFeed on Thursday reveal that Robert Mercer donated $25,000 in 2012 to Project Veritas, the group accused of trying to plant a fake story in The Washington Post to undermine the paper's credibility.

Project Veritas was founded by right-wing activist James O'Keefe, whose undercover videos targeting organizations such as Planned Parenthood have been published and supported by Breitbart News, another conservative organization that Mercer has supported.

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The new funding connection was revealed days after The Washington Post reported that a Project Veritas operative had contacted the newspaper with an accusation of statutory rape against Roy Moore, the Alabama GOP Senate candidate at the center of a growing number of allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct of teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

In a statement, the paper said that inconsistencies in the operative's story had clued in the Post's reporters, and O'Keefe was criticized on social media by journalists for faking a story of sexual assault for the sake of politics.

Bloomberg reported this month that Mercer, who also stepped down as co-CEO of his firm Renaissance Technologies earlier this month, planned to sell his stake in Breitbart News to his daughter. He did not explain his reasons. 

Mercer had also announced earlier in November that he would cease funding provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos following reports that revealed Yiannopoulos's connections to white supremacists.

Mercer rebuked both Yiannopolous and Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon in a statement announcing his exit from his company.

"I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him," Mercer wrote. "However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon's."

"In my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate," he added. "I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him."