The two independent filmmakers who posed as a pimp and a prostitute and received advice from ACORN employees in five cities on how to skirt tax and immigration laws claim the community organizer group lied when it said the pair were shown the door without receiving assistance from staffers in its Philadelphia office.
James O'Keefe, 25, and Hannah Giles, 20, played a heavily-edited video on Wednesday depicting their visit to ACORN's Philadelphia office on July 24. Giles, clad in a fur coat and leather skirt, posed as a prostitute, while O'Keefe played the role of her pimp. The pair claim they were not "kicked out" of the office without assistance from ACORN employee Katherine Conway-Russell, as has been reported.
"At no point were we kicked out and at no point were we asked to leave," O'Keefe told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington. "Why did the Philadelphia press report were we kicked out?"
The new eight-minute video depicts O'Keefe and Giles entering ACORN's Philadelphia office and meeting with Conway-Russell. O'Keefe and Giles are seen speaking with Conway-Russell, but audio portions of the video are missing or edited in some portions. O'Keefe is heard mentioning he doesn't "want to get in trouble with authorities," and he mentions individuals will be frequently coming in and out of the building they hoped to secure, an apparent reference to the purported prostitution business to operate there. Clips of news reports featuring Conway-Russell and ACORN's chief executive, Bertha Lewis, claiming the pair were kicked out of the office were then shown.
The video was later posted online.
Scott Levenson, a spokesman for ACORN, reiterated a Sept. 14 statement issued by Carol Hemingway, the president of ACORN's Philadelphia chapter, saying O'Keefe and Giles were asked to leave the office and that a police report was subsequently filed.
"This is another example of Fox Entertainment treating concocted video as if it's actually news," Levenson told Foxnews.com. "The police report we filed contemporaneously proves our clear understanding of this scam that was being portrayed."
Levenson declined further comment.
O'Keefe and Giles were joined by Andrew Breitbart, a conservative commentator who publishes Breitbart.com and BigGovernment.com, which first posted the videos last month.
"I can't think of one moment where ACORN has told the truth about what James and Hannah have done," Breitbart said. "ACORN has lied every step of the way … We are here to dispel those lies."
Breitbart said more videos connected to the undercover probe may be released at an unspecified date. "There are more," he said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, called for congressional probes into ACORN and praised the young filmmakers for their "insight" and courage.
'This is what happens in America when people stand up for what's right," he said.
The first five videos — made public on BigGovernment.com — depicted ACORN employees in Washington, Brooklyn, N.Y., Baltimore, San Diego and San Bernardino, Calif., offering advice to O'Keefe and Giles on how to skirt tax laws and avoid detection by authorities while operating a brothel. The footage led to the firing of four employees and the suspension of two others.
The undercover operation prompted the IRS and the Census Bureau to sever all ties to the organization, which bills itself as the nation's largest grassroots organization of low- and moderate-income families. A criminal probe was launched by the Kings County District Attorney's Office to investigate activities at ACORN's Brooklyn office, and the Treasury Department's inspector general agreed on Sept. 24 to conduct a review of ACORN, and IRS oversight of nonprofit organizations as a whole. Other probes into the group include investigations by the attorneys general of California and New York.
Lewis, ACORN's chief organizer, announced on Sept. 16 that the organization would stop taking "new intakes" immediately, essentially freezing its service programs. Scott Harshbarger, a Boston attorney and former attorney general of Massachusetts, was hired late last month to conduct an "independent and comprehensive" investigation into the liberal activist group.
ACORN has filed a lawsuit against O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart.com. The lawsuit, filed in a Baltimore court, stems from an undercover video showing ACORN employees Shera Williams and Tonja Thompson providing advice on how to skirt tax laws to O'Keefe and Giles as they posed as a pimp and prostitute.