Undercover recordings made by an alleged “whistleblower” capture CNN employees casually confirming the network's anti-Trump bias and show company president Jeff Zucker telling top news executives to focus solely on impeachment even at the expense of other important news, according to the conservative activist group that posted the bombshell footage online.
Project Veritas, whose founder, James O'Keefe, describes himself as a “guerrilla journalist” -- built up the release on social media with an “#ExposeCNN” hashtag, and Monday published the first segment of what is billed as a multi-part series. The video features Cary Poarch, who claims he was a satellite uplink technician at CNN’s Washington Bureau before, he says, his “dream job” quickly turned into a nightmare due to CNN's blatant bias.
“I don’t care about the MSNBC event, OK? I don’t care about them. Let’s just stay very focused on impeachment,” a person identified as Zucker says in the recording. “We shouldn’t just pretend, oh, this is going one way. And so all of these moves are toward impeachment.”
Poarch allegedly recorded “several” of Zucker’s conference calls, in which he claims Zucker runs the daily meeting “with an iron fist” aimed directly at “hammering Trump” or “Republicans in general.” Poarch told O’Keefe that several high-powered CNN executives join Zucker on the daily call, including senior vice president of newsgathering Virginia Moseley and political director David Chalian.
Zucker, who began his career at NBC, rose from researcher all the way to president and CEO of NBC Universal. Along the way, he was responsible for increasing Donald Trump’s fame when he greenlighted “The Apprentice.”
The duo has famously feuded since Trump’s foray into politics, with the president attacking the liberal network on a regular basis and accusing CNN of unfair coverage.
Zucker is also heard telling staff to call out Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and encouraging CNN on-air personalities to attack Fox News.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the clip, Poarch said he decided to wear a hidden camera because of CNN's perceived bias, and that he secretly recorded Zucker’s 9 a.m. rundown conference call because the network was “pumping out propaganda.”
“It’s basically me wanting the news to be what they used to be -- news -- and not infotainment or a game show or chasing the ratings,” Poarch told O’Keefe. “CNN purports it to be facts first and that’s clearly not the case.
“I noticed after… that there was a strong group-think that permeated through the halls and that everyone was on board the ‘I hate Trump Train.’”
The video also showed someone identified as a CNN media coordinator Nick Neville being secretly recorded.
“Jeff Zucker, basically the president of CNN, has a personal vendetta against Trump… it’s not gonna be positive for Trump. [Zucker] hates him. He’s going to be negative,” the person identified as Neville said in the highly edited video.
The same person also said that many CNN employees want to err on the side of “journalistic integrity” but “big boss” Zucker “f----ing tell you what to do.” “You have to like… to a certain extent, you have to follow his verdict,” the man said. “He’s like had an on-going feud with Trump… he’s had an on-going feud with Trump since ‘The Apprentice.’”
Another alleged CNN employee, identified as media coordinator Christian Sierra, said that “everyone at the network” complains about the anti-Trump tone.
“They hate covering Trump all day,” he said
Project Veritas, which frames itself as a conservative whistleblower watchdog group, has previously released what it claims to be hidden camera footage of network news producers, federal politicians, and members of private political organizations making statements while unaware they were being recorded.
Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this report