Note: This article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
A new video released Wednesday by hidden-camera provocateur James O'Keefe targets CNN political contributor Van Jones. In the video, Jones is caught saying that the Russia-Trump collusion allegations are a “nothing burger.”
“The Russia thing is just a big nothing burger. There’s nothing there you can do," Jones says to a person filming him on the street. Jones seems to know the person in the undercover video, which cuts directly to the question about Russia and cuts off directly after his comments.
Van Jones, who served as President Barack Obama's Green Energy Czar before resigning for questionable political activity, was a talking head staple on CNN throughout the 2016 election. His comments on the Trump-Russia collusion theory have shown skepticism — yet he regularly trumpets the tenets of the unproven theory.
Jones has said previously on-air at CNN that “it could be the case” that the president and his team colluded with the Russians. Jones has also said that President Donald Trump is being louder on Russia than anyone involved in something “criminal or otherwise.” He has previously stated that Trump’s silence on potential Russian interference in the 2016 election is "baffling to anybody with a functioning brain stem.”
The comments from one of CNN's most well-known personalities lands in the middle of what is turning out to be a disaster of a week for the cable news network.
On Tuesday, O'Keefe released an undercover video of CNN producer John Bonifield calling the network's coverage of Trump-Russia “bulls**t.” The video, which has been roundly downplayed by CNN, came in the wake of CNN firing three veteran journalists for publishing a single-source story about Trump associates colluding with a Russian bank. The source of the story denied all allegations, and in the fallout, CNN was forced to retract, delete, and apologize for the report.
In the month of June, CNN has been forced to delete, correct, or remove four pieces of content from their news site or social handles. CNN was forced to correct a claim by an unnamed source that James Comey will deny ever telling Trump he was not under investigation. In the story, originally titled “Comey expected to refute Trump," the source's claim was proven untrue by Comey's written testimony.
The network has had its White House correspondent correct a report about Trump not visiting Steve Scalise in the hospital after being shot by a left-wing zealot and was forced to delete and correct tweets stating that only the Democratic Party was praying before the Congressional Baseball Game.
President Donald Trump branded CNN as “fake news” and “very fake news” in the early days of his presidency. The network, clearly bothered by the assertion, has strongly pushed back on the moniker.
CNN has also been forced to fire two of its well-known on-air talent this spring. Kathy Griffin, CNN's longtime New Year's Eve host, was fired after engaging in a stunt where she beheaded Trump. Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American author and religious scholar, had his series cancelled by the network after a tweet storm where he called the president a “piece of s**t.”
This is a breaking story and more information will be added as it becomes available.