WaPo: Behind Fake Roy Moore Story, Months of Deception
The paper tracks Jaime Phillips' activity since the summer
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2017 7:28 AM CST
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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(Newser)

The Washington Post says it derailed Jaime Phillips' attempt to plant a fake story about her being impregnated by GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore at age 15—but a different story about Phillips has made its way into the paper. In a lengthy piece, the Post alleges the 41-year-old—believed to be affiliated with James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, which sets up undercover "stings" in an attempt to discredit mainstream news outlets and left-leaning political groups—spent months undercover in an effort to "infiltrate" the Post, as well as other Washington and New York media companies. It dates the start of her efforts to July, when they say she joined two dozen networking groups, many focused on the media, and began attending events under three names.

In addition to networking events, she showed up at farewell gatherings for exiting Post staffers and presented a trio of cover stories: that her start-up needed writers; that she was in grad school studying national security; or that she was a new-to-the-area contractor. The Post's upshot: "Phillips' sustained attempt to insinuate herself into the social circles of reporters makes clear that her deception ... went much further than the attempt to plant one fabricated article." In a Wednesday talk, the AP reports O'Keefe had this to say: "The Washington Post seems to want a Nobel Prize for vetting a source correctly. Our work is sort of changing human nature and making people cautious." To wit, one Post reporter who spoke with Phillips at an event tells the paper, "I'm generally an open, friendly person, but I need to be more cautious."

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