June 1st, 2010
10:30 AM ET
5 years ago

O'Keefe: 'I'd do it again'

James O'Keefe said Tuesday that he doesn't regret his attempt to tamper with Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone system.
James O'Keefe said Tuesday that he doesn't regret his attempt to tamper with Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone system.

(CNN) – The conservative videographer who plead guilty to entering federal property under false pretenses following an attempt to access Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phone system says that if given the chance, he'd do it again.

"I'd do it again, I might do it differently," James O'Keefe told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday.

"I don't regret what I did," O'Keefe said before adding, "Senators are corrupt, politicians are corrupt. These people have to be investigated."

When asked by Stephanopoulos if he would intentionally break the law again, O'Keefe indicated he would alter his methods.

"I might do it a little differently," O'Keefe said.

O'Keefe is one of four men arrested in January. Two of the group posed as telephone repair workers to get into Landrieu's office while O'Keefe secretly videotaped the incident.

Throughout the interview, O'Keefe defends his methods, saying, "This is not a left or right thing. This is about exposing corruption."

O'Keefe is best known for the films in which he dressed as a pimp and visited the offices of ACORN, which bills itself as an advocacy group for low- and middle-income families, to solicit advice on setting up a brothel, among other scenarios.

He secretly recorded the visits on videotapes that were posted on the Internet, leading to a media firestorm. ACORN announced in March it was shutting down due to a loss of funding.

Editor’s note: The original story has been updated to reflect new language in the first sentence. The words “tamper with” have been struck and replaced with “access” to accurately describe James O’Keefe’s plea bargain. The new sentence now reads: (CNN) – The conservative videographer who plead guilty to entering federal property under false pretenses following an attempt to access Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phone system says that if given the chance, he'd do it again.


Filed under: James O'Keefe • Popular Posts
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Duck Fallas

    Those sneaky politicians are breaking the law. It's wrong to be sneaky and break the law. Unless you're a sanctimonious right wing nut.

    June 1, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. ....

    why isn't this white devil in prison? if he were black or latinohe'd be behind bars in NO TIME! This is what makes me sick about white folx in this country!

    June 1, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. gino

    Unrepentant cheap little wise-guy crook. A little jail time might clear his clouded mind.

    June 1, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Emmanuel

    Why do you keep repeating that he did the ACORN stunt with pimp outfit, when it has long been known that the costumed part of the video was inserted later, and the acorn people never saw this "pimp"?

    This little wannabe press martyr is nothing but a pompous partisan prankster with delusions of grandeur. Actual journalists sometimes have to use illegal methods to get a story, but only if warranted. This man is no journalist, and his rationale for breaking the law was wafer thin.

    June 1, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. terry,va

    I'm surprised he didn't get beheaded by dictator obummie for exposing Acorn. O'keefe better lay low or dictator obummie will put his thugs on him.

    June 1, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. greg morris in jacksonville, fl

    a criminal and proud of it... hmmm. interesting, oh, and he is free to commit more crimes.. oh great, cant wait to see what his follow-up felony is going to be .

    June 1, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Wisconsinite - Conservatives want to take their country back. Progressives want to move their country forward.

    Too bad the media in this country gives free publicity to criminals.

    June 1, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Fed Up!

    Not that it matters, but how many Republicans and how many Democrats has Jimmy actually exposed as being corrupt? Have his investigation led to any convictions?

    For all intents and purposes O'Keefe is nothing more than this generation's pathetic version of a G. Gordon Liddy wannabe.

    June 1, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. erik

    Prime example of a Young Republican.

    The law means nothing when it gets in the way of your ideology.

    That party is doomed. Good riddance

    June 1, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. kd

    fine. Expose corruption without breaking the law, which is just as corrupt.

    And you might want to take aim at some right-wingers. Your bias is showing.

    June 1, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. david

    I think this is completely acceptable. I agree our politicians are corrupt and we have lost the ability to conduct our own checks and balances

    June 1, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Johnny DC

    On the one hand, vigilante justice and taking matters into one's own hands is not the answer.

    However, the corruption is so deeply rooted in our political system, the only way to expose it is to use means such as this.

    Quite a conundrum. Of course, in the meantime, the public opinion of people like O'Keefe will be biased based on Left/Right stances.

    June 1, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. gratian

    I guess if we follow Mr. O'Keefe's tortured reasoning of doing what is patently illegal, then all illegal immigrants, who want to support their families, should continue to defy American law as well. At least their motives are humanitarian, not political!

    June 1, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Minnesotan

    Senators may be corrupt, but O'Keefe is a moron. One can be voted out, but the other is forever.

    June 1, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. ellid

    What a revolting little excuse for a human being.

    June 1, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Darrell

    Why are we paying attention to this clown? His fifteen minutes of fame is about to run out; or, he can borrow a few minutes from Sarah Palin who is on her last few minutes before she "co-writes" her next book. Please send the next Tea Party/Conservative clown in so that we can all get a laugh...ha, ha, ha.

    June 1, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. rita

    We need this guy in Iran.

    June 1, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    By O'Keefe's logic, it's OK to commit crimes, as long as you're doing it against people who you think are criminals.

    Not only is his attitude arrogant (he's judge, jury and executioner), it flies in the face of our Constitutional government and rule of law.

    O'Keefe needs a reality and ego check. I suggest he go live in a country where there is no rule of law; perhaps Afghanistan or Somalia? Do some "field work" there, then report back to us.

    June 1, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Drew Williams

    "This not a left or a right thing" And yet, it still somehow seems to always end up a right thing. Investigate Jim DeMint and someone other than the rightwing corporate machine might start believing your shills.

    June 1, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Robert Eisen

    Judge was too lenient. Put him in jail. His concept that all politicians are corrupt does not give him the right to break the law.

    June 1, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    O'Keefe's targeting of ACORN was purely political (rightwing) motivated. Yes, he did find one office with staff that weren't doing the right thing; O'Keefe also edited his film in such a way as to prove his point, at the expense of the reality of the situation.

    By and large, though, ACORN has done a lot of good over the years. Done so well, in fact, that the GOP supported them in registering voters.

    June 1, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. illusmedia

    He complains about politicians being corrupt but it is ok if he breaks the law? Typical GOP hypocrite. Why doesn't he investigate his own people? This guy is a loser and a liar.

    June 1, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Moderate

    Easy to get cocky after your friends father gets you off with a slap on the hand. Babies like you make news real reporters sick.

    June 1, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. haren

    There are more corrupt Republican than Democrats.
    He should go after his own people, why don't he try to go after Hannity and Beck?
    I am sure he will find how corrupt they are.

    June 1, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. William Jefferson

    What a tool. Notice that this dipwad getting sentenced is not garniering nearly the headlines on fux these days. He is a petty criminal, a scum bag. If he wants to be an investigative journbalist let him go to school to learn how. Otherwise he is just a punk kid playing games.

    June 1, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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