A security contractor with ties to the Trump administration recruited ex-spies to infiltrate left-wing campaigns and labor unions
Erik Prince, a sometimes unofficial advisor to President Trump, worked to recruit former spies to infiltrate left-wing organizations, The New York Times reported. Undercover operatives recorded leaders in liberal campaigns and organizations in an attempt to release information that could damage them. The operations were spearheaded by Project Veritas, a right-wing group known for secretly recording and releasing tapes of members of the news media. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Project Veritas, the right-wing group known for secretly recording and releasing clips attempting to expose the news media, used former British and American intelligence officials to infiltrate at least two left-wing groups in an attempt to release damaging information about them, according to a report from The New York Times on Saturday. The operations were orchestrated by Erik Prince, a security contractor and founder of Blackwater, a private military company he sold in 2010 following years of controversy, criminal complaints, and lawsuits. Prince, who has ties to the Trump administration, reached out to former intelligence community members so they could assist Project Vertias' efforts, the report said. Prince — also the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — has at times served as an informal advisor to the President Donald Trump, advising on projects like the president's transition into office in 2017, according to the report. Project Veritas also has known ties to Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr., is listed as an invited guest on the website for the wedding of the group's founder, according to the report. Prince, in one instance, helped recruit a former member of M16, UK's Secret Service organization, to infiltrate the American Federation of Teachers, the New York Times reported. The man, identified in documents as Richard Seddon, directed an undercover woman to secretly film leaders of the union in order to obtain information potentially damaging to their organization. Emails and other documents that revealed the Project Vertias operation were revealed as part of the discovery process in a lawsuit leveled against Project Vertias by the American Federation of Teachers, the NYT reported. The same undercover individual later joined the Congressional campaign of Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operation officer. When Spanberger's campaign discovered the woman was an undercover operative, it fired her, according to the report Saturday. As The New York Times reported, it is unclear whether anyone with ties to the Trump administration was aware of the Prince/Project Veritas operation. "No one tells Project Veritas who or what to investigate," James O'Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas told The New York Times. Prince declined to comment on the report, the New York newspaper added. As The Wall Street Journal reported in February, the US Justice Department is deciding whether to charge Prince with lying to Congress as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and determining whether he violated laws in his business dealings with foreign countries. Read more: Elon Musk is showering Bernie Sanders with memes since his own favorite Democratic candidate Andrew Yang dropped out of the race Trump inaccurately claims the Obama administration is to blame for slowing down diagnostics testing CDC staffers only found out about a suspected case of the coronavirus at the agency when Trump told reporters Trump says he'll keep holding rallies amid coronavirus, but he has none scheduled after holding 6 in the past month Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What it takes to be an NFL referee, according to an official who spent 19 seasons in the league
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A consulting firm working with ICE reportedly proposed severe budget cuts — including proposals to cut spending on food and medical care for migrants
International consulting firm McKinsey & Company was hired under the Obama administration to reorganize spending for...International consulting firm McKinsey & Company was hired under the Obama administration to reorganize spending for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of government. Under the Trump administration, the firm was redirected to "toward helping the agency figure out how to execute the White House's clampdown on illegal immigration," ProPublica reported. However, some cost-saving initiatives were reportedly so severe that they made ICE agents uncomfortable, as they "risked short-circuiting due process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States," according to the ProPublica report. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A consulting firm working with ICE division reportedly proposed severe budget cuts to speed up deportation — including proposals to cut spending on food and medical care for migrants and to use low-cost beds — according to a new report from ProPublica and The New York Times. International consulting firm McKinsey & Company was hired under the Obama administration to reorganize spending in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of government. Under the Trump administration, the firm was redirected to "toward helping the agency figure out how to execute the White House's clampdown on illegal immigration," ProPublica and The Times reported. The Times and ProPublica obtained 1,000 pages of documents obtained through a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act and interviewed those familiar with the issue from ICE and McKinsey. McKinsey suggested money-saving initiatives that would cut costs as well as finding ways to speed up deportation of illegal migrants, per President Donald Trump and the White House's new directives. ProPublica and The Times reported that the firm was "deeply involved" in executing policies that would carry out Trump's mission to crack down on illegal immigration into the US. An ICE spokesman told ProPublica and The Times that McKinsey's work with the division "yielded measurable improvements in mission outcomes, including a notable decrease in the time to remove aliens with a final order of removal." However, some cost-saving initiatives were reportedly so severe that they made ICE agents uncomfortable, as they "risked short-circuiting due process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States," according to the ProPublica report. Some of the proposals were not implemented, because ICE employees thought they "went too far," according to the report. For example, the cutting spending on food and medical care proposal was not included in the contract, ProPublica and The Times reported. A McKinsey spokesman told ProPublica and The Times that the "scope" of their work, which began contractually under the Obama administration, was "designed to help the agency find ways to operate more effectively and cost-efficiently," "The focus of our work did not change as a result of these executive orders," the spokesman continued. After growing dissatisfaction with the firm, ICE ended its partnership with McKinsey in July 2018, two ICE former officials told ProPublica and The Times. The firm still has a contract with US Customs and Border Protection. Representatives for ICE and McKinsey respectively did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. The Trump administration's immigration policy has come under sharp criticism from civil rights organizations and lawmakers from both parties — with some Democratic lawmakers calling for the abolishment of ICE. Read the full ProPublica and New York Times report here » Read more: Exclusive: Freddie Mac retains McKinsey & Company to consult on capital management ICE officials met with Amazon this summer to discuss using its controversial facial recognition surveillance technology THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BORDER CRISIS: Experts say there is no security crisis, but there is a simple way to fix immigration — and it's not a wall SEE ALSO: We went inside Border Patrol boot camp and found the Academy isn't training agents for the job the White House is asking them to do Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We can thank the US military for the smelliest weapon in the world
CBS News reportedly fired a staffer suspected of leaking that explosive video of an ABC anchor saying the network killed her Jeffrey Epstein exposé
CBS News reportedly fired a staffer who previously worked for ABC News and accessed footage of...CBS News reportedly fired a staffer who previously worked for ABC News and accessed footage of the anchor Amy Robach complaining that the network killed her exposé on Jeffrey Epstein. The journalist Yashar Ali reported in his newsletter that ABC News executives learned the identity of the former staffer, then informed their counterparts at CBS News of the person's identity. The news comes after the right-wing organization Project Veritas published a leaked video showing Robach angrily discussing how ABC News refused to air her story for years. It's unclear whether the staffer who was fired leaked the footage to Project Veritas, or simply passed it to someone else who did. CBS News did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. CBS News fired a staffer who previously worked for ABC News and accessed explosive footage of one of its anchors complaining that the network killed her exposé about Jeffrey Epstein, according to multiple reports published Thursday. Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted Thursday morning that two sources familiar with the matter confirmed the staffer had been fired. Page Six also cited a source saying that CBS let the staffer go on Wednesday after ABC executives contacted the network. The move comes just days after the right-wing organization Project Veritas published a leaked video, purportedly shot in August, featuring the anchor Amy Robach angrily discussing a story she tried to report in 2015 on the allegations against Epstein, as well as connections to the Clintons and Prince Andrew. The video was shot in-between takes, and didn't air. Robach said ABC News refused to air her story for three years, partly out of concerns that the network would lose access to prominent figures. She also said she believed Epstein was murdered in jail, despite confirmation from the official medical examiner that Epstein died by suicide. ABC News previously said in a statement that the network never stopped investigating Epstein, and that Robach's reporting in 2015 didn't meet high enough standards to air. According to Ali, ABC News executives learned the identity of the former staffer who accessed the footage of Robach, and then informed their counterparts at CBS News of the person's identity. It's unclear whether the former staffer in question actually leaked the footage to Project Veritas, or obtained the footage and perhaps showed it to others who leaked it to Project Veritas. The suspected staffer hasn't been identified. CBS News did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Read more: ABC News denied its own anchor's claim that Buckingham Palace threatened the network over Epstein 'a million different ways' ABC says interview with Epstein accuser wasn't ready to air An ABC News anchor was caught on a hot mic saying that the network killed her Epstein exposé in 2015 and that she thinks the sex offender was '100%' murdered Bill Gates addressed his multiple meetings with Jeffrey Epstein: 'I made a mistake in judgment' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A podiatrist explains heel spurs, the medical condition Trump said earned him a medical deferment from Vietnam