NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — A strange twist in the ongoing situation involving Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and allegations that he sexually assaulted underage women.
A conservative group known for undercover investigations has been linked to a woman who falsely told The Washington Post that Moore impregnated her as a teenager, the newspaper reported.
Moore has been accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct. But the Post determined that one accuser who approached the newspaper earlier in the month, identified as Jaime Phillips, made up a fake story likely designed to embarrass the newspaper.
The Post published a story Monday about its dealings with Phillips. Earlier in the day, reporters from the newspaper saw Phillips walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, a conservative group with a long track record of targeting Democratic groups and major media outlets, often by hiding their identities and using hidden cameras.
“We don’t comment on investigations real or imagined, or imagined stings,” conservative activist and Project Veritas leader James O’Keefe told The Associated Press Monday evening.
O’Keefe released an unrelated video that he said exposed liberal bias at the newspaper hours after the Post story was initially published.
The video featured a series of secretly recorded conversations with Post employees. One reporter, Dan Lamothe, suggests the Post’s opinion page is too critical of the Trump administration. He also says its more traditional news coverage calls out the Trump administration’s missteps while giving “him credit where there’s credit” due.
The Post reported Monday afternoon that Phillips approached one of its reporters earlier in the month as Moore faced several accusations of sexual misconduct. In a series of interviews over two weeks, Phillips told the Post about an alleged sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 that led to an abortion when she was 15.
She repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public, the newspaper reported. The Post did not publish Phillips’ claims and confronted her with inconsistencies in her story. She told the Post she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.
A previous O’Keefe sting led to the demise of ACORN, a community organizing group that O’Keefe portrayed as engaged in criminal activity via hidden camera videos. O’Keefe was convicted in 2010 as part of a scheme to illegally make recordings at the office of then-Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)