June 1st, 2010
10:30 AM ET
4 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. Willa-PA

    He gives of bad vibes when I see his face, reminds me of Timothy McVey.

    June 1, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Rickster

    As usual, the democrats will condemn O'Keefe and defend the indefensible.....their own sleazy and corrupt politicians and organizations. Wake up people. Stop being tools of these corrupt politicians and organizations(ACORN, etc.). Call out corruption wherever it is and root it out.

    June 1, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Jesse, MA.

    This article is incorrect. O'Keefe never visited the offices dressed as a pimp. You really should get your facts straight.

    June 1, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, he likes violating the law? If he knows of problems, then he should be talking to the heads of the Senate and to the FBI. Going to a federal office under false pretenses is a way to waste our tax dollars. Attempting to tap the phones is a way to listen in on protected conversations. How does he justify breaking the law that way?

    June 1, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Hmmm... the government illegally taps our phones and they get to walk away free as a bird. This guy walks in and taps a phone, and he gets slammed.

    When did the government get a free ride? Why aren't they being prosecuted for the thousands of warrantless wiretaps they used?

    June 1, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Rightwingevangelicalconservatism is a disease

    This kid is a great right winger in the making. Distorting the truth and lying.

    June 1, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. mike

    james O'stupid he is full of himself its not about right or wrong but about
    the limelight if he really cared about reporting on the wrong doing he
    would have left the court and went out and reported his next assignment
    but instead he is in the media boasting about he is going to report the next so call wrong doing lets face it he got lucky on acorn and now he
    thinks he is superman

    June 1, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Wayne

    Pot, meet kettle.

    June 1, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. LG

    In this post 9.11 era, it's both stupid and dangerous to enter a major federal office building under false pretenses. Security has no way of knowing if this is an "investigative reporter" or someone with more sinister motives.

    Extremists, both left and right, need to relearn that the ends don't justify the means.

    June 1, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Alex in Wisconsin

    Well its good to k now that this criminal still sees his mission to root out corruption in other people's lives. i'm sure there are numerous lessons about throwing stones that would apply but none really seem to matter to this guy. Let him continue his work, but let no one think that he isn't corrupt just as corrupt as the democratic politicians he sets out to expose. I for one won't take him or anyone like him seriously until they can expose corruption on both sides of the aisle.

    June 1, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. kimberly

    funny this idiot was not FEATURED on FAUX "news" but an 18 year old that hacked palins email as a prank is treated like a terrorist on there...funny!

    June 1, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Debbie from Arizona

    Sure, he will do it again. Why not? When you only get a slap on the wrist for breaking into a federal building, why wouldn't he do it again. He and his cohorts are nothing but smug little vandals.

    June 1, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Amazed in Tampa

    I'm sure if we just wait a little longer we'll hear the thunderous condemnation from law-and-order conservatives, just ignore the current sound of chirping crickets.

    June 1, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Darth Johnson

    Self important clown.

    June 1, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Glen Beck is now molesting innocent children...

    yeah, next time you break the law differently..."we the people" will treat you differenty and put your behind in slammers for a loonnng time dufus!!!

    June 1, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Patrick Lewis

    This guy should be in jail, if only for just his lies. The right always cries that the "Lamestream media" plays politics. This is politics playing at being media. If this guy is about exposing corruption, where is his hard hitting piece exposing the crap at the Heritage Foundation? How about a piece on what one of Rick Perry's parties are like?

    This man is not a journalist. He's a muckraker and he should be a felon. Acorn builds - built - houses for poor people, like habitat for humanity. This is the Ayn Rand ideal of private charity doing the work of welfare, and this tool decides to blow it up in retaliation for Obama winning the White House? Jail is too good for him.

    June 1, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Dale

    The life of a righteous man? We here this over an over again from conservatives the laws and the Consittution are for everyone else to follow. The ends alsways justifies the means.

    June 1, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Dyan, Minnesota

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

    And yet, he ONLY targets Democrats and groups who tend to vote Democratic. When he targets right-wing corruption too, then I might take him seriously. Until then...... what O'Keefe does is nothing more than another right-wing hatch job.

    June 1, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Michael

    There is still plenty of work to do investigating the many, many borderline or outright illegalities surrounding the invasion of Iraq. Where was this "videographer" to fight corruption under Bush/Cheney? What did that administration do for the USA except gut the public wealth & funnel it into the pockets of their cronies?

    June 1, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    What a patriot! Give him a gun & send him to Afghanistan;VICTORY in two weeks.

    June 1, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Mark from Louisiana

    The guy brought down the corrupt folks at acorn, he should get an award for that.
    Did you know he was working for the census? Some interesting video of the corruption being done by the census department is coming!
    There are already numerous reports of census workers being hired, paid to train, then laid off after working only a day or two. Then rehired the next week, paid to train again, and work a day or two then get laid off, and rehired again the next week. Sure makes the obummer administration jobs report look good though. Shame they are wasting taxpayer money to make the administration look good.

    June 1, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Jim

    What a slime bag. This kid has hurt a lot of people with his shenanigans and I think he should go to jail. You can't just walk into a US senator's office and try to bug their phones.

    June 1, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. republicans hate america

    thats right and the only corruption out there is done by the left.....giggles

    June 1, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. drifter

    Could someone explain this guy? Why was he so hell bent on Acorn? Aren't they all about community organization and helping the poor and all that good stuff? Sure, there may have been a few bad apples, but aren't there bigger, more corrupt fish in the sea? Speaking of fish, maybe he should direct his energies investigating the political corruption and backslapping that led to the biggest oil spill in US history that will effect thousands if not millions of lives...instead of dressing as a pimp and tapping phones and wasting our time.

    June 1, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Bill NY

    He's right of course. Politicians are corrupt, but people are corrupt. Greedy corrupt people in this country are doing serious damage. When I see what is happening on both sides of the aisle I can only conclude that we are doomed. You can secretly or not so secretly go to any agency and see crooks at work. We tend to forget that this country was founded on theft(see native Americans) and slavery(another form of theft). When you do not come to terms and reconcile history you are stuck in a vicious cycle.

    June 1, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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