Anna Khait went from a fringe figure in the poker-world to full-on national news yesterday. That’s when the New York Times broke a story about the ex-Survivor. The news concerns Khait’s attempts at amateur investigative journalism with Project Veritas.
So far, the Times is the only source on this story, and the details are hotly denied by Khait, who claims that Project Veritas will be suing the Times over this piece.
According to the Times, Project Veritas was using their donations to put their “operatives” up in $10,000-per-month digs, just up the road from the stairs on Prospect Street made famous by Father Karras’ fall in The Exorcist.
The article alleges that Khait was part of a team of women. The team was hired by Project Veritas to use dating sites as a method of setting up meetings with F.B.I. employees. The NYT says that an ex-British spy trained the team, that they were told to burn their training materials, and that they were told not to use their real names while they were working out of the Prospect Street house. The team failed to turn up much usable info on the F.B.I.
While Khait was cos-playing as Ethan Hunt, events overtook her crew. The NYT describes how the main task of this team was the attempt to discredit H. R. McMaster. McMaster was part of Donald Trump’s inner circle for a while. Unfortunately, McMaster resigned of his own accord after he fell out with Trump over an unrelated matter.
The truth and Project Veritas
For those who are not familiar with Project Veritas, it is a far-right conspiracy blog.
According to the Times, James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, rebuilt his site around the idea of the Deep State in the last few years. The article says that “Mr. O’Keefe said Project Veritas had been investigating the deep state for more than a year.”
The investigation followed from pro-Trump donors pouring money into O’Keefe’s operation. The Times article describes how: “Project Veritas also experienced a windfall during the Trump administration, with millions in donations from private donors and conservative foundations.”
Despite all the funding, Project Veritas’ website still appears a bit rickety.
One page of the site called “Project Veritas legal victories” claims the site has won all seven of the lawsuits against them. Another page called “Mistakes That Project Veritas Has Made” counters this. It lists one settlement and one guilty plea by Project Veritas and O’Keefe respectively.
O’Keefe also describes himself as having “pulled off some of the most consequential undercover journalism coups in a generation.” But he’s a bit vague on what those coups might be.
O’Keefe produced a video response to the piece on Facebook in which he largely avoided addressing the content of the article. Instead, he attacked previous coverage of his website by the NYT.
Khait denies her involvement in the Veritas dating site scam.
Khait tweeted, “The only truth the NYT posted is that I investigated a communist in the Department of State. And he got fired. TRUE. It was at a public event. We never went on a date. I’m proud to have served my country. We should all want the truth.”
In her next tweet, she immediately compared herself to Jesus.
“They called Jesus a sinner and a drunk. I’m in good company,” she wrote.
It should be noted that Christian myth has Jesus turning water into wine to ensure a multi-day bender didn’t have to end early. This tweet may not make the point she was hoping it did.
Khait seems like she was probably a pretty easy sell for Project Veritas’s recruiters.
She already shows a bent towards conspiratorial thinking. Her Twitter account just in the last few days has pushed anti-semitic dog-whistles about George Soros and about cultural “marxism.” One of her tweets is of a YouTube video with a description that reads “Stuart Karaffa. Anyone know if his a Jewish [sic]? About ~70% of Jews are sick, treasonous liberals!”
With all that in mind, it is perhaps not surprising then that Khait ended up being an eager collaborator in O’Keefe’s Deep State conspiracism.
Thinking she could effectively spy on the FBI seems a plausible delusion for Khait. But hopefully, if Project Veritas attempts to sue the Times, we will get some greater clarity. Perhaps we’ll learn exactly what Khait’s actual role was in this Pink Panther cartoon of a story.
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT