UNC Asheville responds to undercover Project Veritas video


    A still from an undercover video by James O'Keeffe and another member of his group, Project Veritas. They posed as UNC Asheville students to order to gain access to officials at the school. (Photo credit: VeritasVisuals)

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- A controversial conservative activist has targeted UNC Asheville in a new youtube video.

    James O'Keefe and another member of his group, Project Veritas, went undercover posing as students to get meetings with two officials at the school on April 14.

    "They thought we were students, and they thought they were hearing someone who actually did have transgender concerns but then I revealed I'm not one of those people, I am not a transgender individual. In fact, I'm just using the restroom for these nefarious purposes," O'Keefe said in an interview with News 13 on Thursday. "We produced the stories to tell the story in a concise manner, but nothing was taken out of context."

    At one point in the edited video, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Title IX Administrator appears to tell O'Keefe, who is undercover and saying he likes to tape women in restrooms, not to tell her about his possible crimes.

    In response to the video, UNC Asheville released a statement:

    "The video in question was clearly heavily edited and it does not accurately represent the conversations that occurred. Alarmed by the possibility of criminal activity, UNC Asheville's Title IX administrator ended the conversation and immediately notified campus police.
    UNC Asheville is committed to ensuring that our campus, including our restrooms, is a safe and equitable environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Any criminal activity will be pursued."

    On Thursday afternoon, O'Keefe refused News 13's requested to see the raw video from either of the group's recordings taken at UNC Asheville.

    Stephen Gordon with Project Veritas said that was not standard practice for news agencies.

    O'Keefe has become known nationwide for publishing videos featuring undercover footage of often high-level officials.

    In 2009, O'Keefe was ordered by a California court to pay a settlement of $100,000 after publishing a misleading video that led to the collapse of the well-known liberal non-profit organization ACORN.

    Click here to see News 13's raw interview with James O'Keefe.

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