A woman falsely told The Washington Post that she had been sexually abused as a teenager by Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore as part of a coordinated effort by a right-wing group to embarrass the paper, the Post reported Monday.
The woman, Jaime T. Phillips, told Post reporters "in a series of interviews over two weeks" that a sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 resulted in her having an abortion at age 15. The paper said it did not publish the story "based on her unsubstantiated account" in which it found inconsistencies.
On Monday morning, reporters from the Post saw Phillips enter the Project Veritas office in New York. Project Veritas is an organization that tries to discredit the news media and liberal groups through undercover "sting" operations. Using video — which is often selectively edited — Project Veritas claims to expose media bias and hidden left-wing agendas.
The organization's techniques have been attacked by critics as deceptive and unethical. Project Veritas' founder, James O'Keefe, pleaded guilty in 2010 to entering federal property under false pretenses, a misdemeanor, after being arrested in a plan to access former Democratic senator Mary Landrieu's office.
O'Keefe called the Post story "an imagined sting."
The Post also found a GoFundMe.com page under the name Jaime Phillips for a "relocation to New York for work."
"I’ve accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM," the message from May 29 read, according to a screenshot from the Post. "I’ll be using my skills as a researcher and fact-checker to help our movement. I was laid off from my mortgage job a few months ago and came across the opportunity to change my career path."
When asked about the GoFundMe page last week, Phillips told the Post it was in reference to a job with the Daily Caller that ended up falling through. But Paul Conner, the executive editor of the Daily Caller, said no one there had interviewed anyone named Jaime Phillips.
Phillips ended the interview shortly after being asked about the GoFundMe page, which the Post said was taken down that night.
In a video posted Monday on Project Veritas' website, O'Keefe said the Post was "spending a ton of time and money trying to turn the tables on Project Veritas, talking about an imagined sting."
According to O'Keefe, the Post invented the story about Phillips because it was "afraid" of an upcoming video from a Project Veritas investigation into the newspaper.
O'Keefe posted the first video from the investigation Monday. O'Keefe claims the video shows proof of liberal bias at the Post based on undercover videos of conversations with two people: Dan Lamothe, a reporter on national security, and Joey Marburger, director of product at the Post. But the video fails to deliver any damning footage.
As evidence of bias at the Post, the video highlights a statement from Lamothe in which he says he is sometimes surprised by the paper's strong editorial stances against President Trump and a comment that the paper gets criticism for too much Trump coverage.
The video also shows a clip of Marburger saying Jeff Bezos, the paper's owner, pushed for the Post's new motto, "Democracy dies in darkness" as well as a clip of Marburger saying the Post would lose a lot of traffic without Trump.
The Post broke the story about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, and many of the former Alabama judge's supporters have attacked the newspaper in response.
Two weeks ago a pastor in Alabama reportedly received a robocall from someone claiming to be a Post reporter named Bernie Bernstein offering $5,000 to $7,000 for "damaging" information about Moore. The Post said there is no such reporter at the paper and that it has a strict policy against paying sources.