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. Oh, sure!

    O'Keefe says this is not about left or right, but about "exposing corruption" of our politicians. Geez. I bet he was busier than a one-armed paper hanger for 8 years when Dick and W were running the show! Where are his videos taken during 2001-2009 posted?

    June 1, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Katie S.

    CNN,

    I am disappointed that you would not even mention that Mr. O'Keefe's ACORN tapes were edited to favor his position. I know that this is just the "Ticker" but adding a sentence about his bias wouldn't of hurt.

    June 1, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Peace

    This boy is sick in his head. He pleaded guilty and now he says he will do it again!! People learn from the mistakes they make. Didn't he learn something? He needs some help I suppose!

    June 1, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. debbie

    Once again...A right wing nut case.

    June 1, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Mountainrider

    How can O'Keefe claim the moral high ground as one who exposes corruption when he consistently, vociferously, breaks the law to do so? O'Keefe's actions do not constitute "civil disobedience" in a noble sense and are simple the actions of a sensationalist political paparazzo!

    June 1, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Rick

    He broke the law and got caught, should have received prison time. Why doesn't he look into the lies George Bush and Dick Cheney told 2 of the biggest corrupted people on earth.

    June 1, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Kraig Rasool

    It amazes me how a select few can break the law...go on national television and state they would do it again, and nothing is done to
    stop them....Although I must say his cause for doing so makes
    sense. Those with power though will always remain hidden from
    the rest of us ( at least their conversations)...and if they are caught
    saying something racist or insensitive....why they will just apologize and state that their comments were taken out of context etc...etc...

    June 1, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. notfooledbydistractions

    Stupid is as stupid does. This clowns a buffoon.

    June 1, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. balls mcghee

    politicians are corrupt therefore i will break the law. what a moron. and yeah, this kid is about as "bipartisan" as the Tea Party!

    June 1, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. People's Voice

    He would be singing a different song if he would have had to pay for the crime he committed.

    He's lucky one of his conspirators had a father who managed to get them out of this with no penalty.

    June 1, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Gil

    Conservatives from sarah pathetic, Rand to John McWain have no morals and values other than their own! We need to sweep out all of the incumbent republicans this November or sooner.

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

    Where does this twisted mentality come from? He is going to expose corruption by breaking the law?
    HOW DOES THIS IMPROVE THE SITUATION?

    June 1, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. pierce

    What i want to know: Does the judge know the uncontrite, unrepentent and defiant stance this young man has taken?

    His contriteness might have a lot to do with the terms of his plea.

    The D.A. and the judge need to know about his recent defiant statements.

    Also, it is time to uncover who exactly is funding these people to break the law. It might surprise a lot of people about how high the links go into the GOP hierarchy.

    June 1, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Jeff in Virginia

    O'Keefe says that this is non-partisan.

    Why is it then, that all of his supporters are right-wing nut jobs?

    June 1, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Ric

    Sure it's not about left or right. That's why this propaganda artist only "investigates" the left.

    June 1, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Patriot

    Secretly tapping a phone...he would do it again.

    Ahhh, let me see if I am clear. The law of the land says such actions are not legal. Apparently Mr. O'keefe does not believe laws apply to him. Didn't G. Gordon Liddy and his gang think the same thing?

    Conservatives would be all over this as Socialism or whatever their word is of the day if a "liberal" did this.

    June 1, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. RLnCali

    Him saying it's not a left or right thing would hold more weight if he tried that on a Republican and or Independent. The fact that he only sees corruption on the Democratic side of the aisle shows he's as biased as the next guy. Throw him in jail with the rest of the criminals.

    June 1, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Tommy Mack

    He didn't dress as a pimp, that was edited in later. Also he claims claims he's non-partisan and against corruption, then where was he for 10 plus years of Halliburton (who's still screwing our country up)?

    June 1, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Linda Tinjum

    CNN, along with most other news outlets, still can't get the facts straight. O'Keefe NEVER dressed as a pimp and visited ACORN offices. His tapes were edited. He dressed in what he evidently assumed was "pimp dress" and had himself filmed on the street and walking on a sidewalk. He NEVER wore that "costume" inside any office. And, in one office, the police were called to have him removed when he wouldn't leave. And, in another, after getting as much information as he could, the employee called a friend who contacted the officials working on human/sex trafficking to alert them to this man's (O'Keefe's) plans to smuggle in girls/women.

    June 1, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. rob

    This kid is reckless and young but unfortunately, the things he is doing are the types of investigating the liberal media won't do. The whole Acorn thing had been going on for years and the media knew about it but were unwilling report the stories. Of course the Dems and their friends in the Media will try to destroy him but if he plays his cards right he may make a name for himself.

    I'm rooting for him.

    June 1, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. Dorothy Bickham

    Why isn't James O'Keefe in jail? I don't understand how someone could be allowed to just break into a persons private office and not be punished. Mr. O'Keefe said he'd do it again, well he's going to break into the wrong place one day, and just may need help getting out, if you know what I mean.

    June 1, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Zamal F

    Please, CNN.com, tell the rest of this O'Keefe/ACORN story. Through an investigation, it was found that he DID NOT enter ANY ACORN dressed as a pimp, but in shirt & tie, looking like a respectable, decent person. Truth is, much of what was posted to the internet was spliced and edited more than a P. Diddy remix.

    June 1, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Mikey

    This guy is a piece of dirt. ACORN, although it did have significant problems, did not do what the highly edited videotape made it appear they did. The unedited version would not have led to the outcry and subsequent funding cuts that killed ACORN. Of course, FOX picked it up and GOP politicians use it to destroy ACORN, because, plain and simple, ACORN was registering a lot of poor people to vote, and conservatives don't want poor people voting. One can olny hope that ACORN will be replaced by a better run organization that does not have the same problems and is much more EFFECTIVE at achieving their mission.

    June 1, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Hap

    I guess he didn't learn his lesson. That's okay he'll go to jail next time. I have an idea, get a real job you bum.

    June 1, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. TM

    Given that we now know the WHOLE story about his ACORN "sting". why is there any reason to believe that this wasn't another deceptive attempt at partisan propaganda? He has lied before, and he was lying this time. If he is sorry for anything it is that this time he was CAUGHT before he could cause damage.

    June 1, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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