Police report filed by ACORN exposes false claims by individuals behind videos

››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

In recent days, Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, the conservative filmmakers who made the widely circulated ACORN videos, as well as Andrew Breitbart and Mike Flynn, who have been promoting the videos for BigGovernment.com, have claimed that the filmmakers were never rebuffed by any of the ACORN offices they visited in their attempts to get ACORN to assist them in improper activities. However, in a newly released video, ACORN Housing Corp.'s Katherine Conway Russell directly rebuts those claims, citing a police report ACORN filed as evidence that she asked the filmmakers to leave the ACORN office in Philadelphia and called the police after the filmmakers asked suspicious questions.

Giles, O'Keefe, Breitbart, and Flynn each claimed every ACORN office the filmmakers visited was complicit

Giles answered "No" to the question: "[Y]ou didn't go into one office, and they said, 'We're not going to help you do anything like that?' " On the September 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Sean Hannity interviewed Giles, a Townhall.com columnist, and Andrew Breitbart, founder of BigGovernment.com, the website that first posted the ACORN videos. During the interview, Hannity asked Giles: "[W]hen you go to Baltimore and D.C. and New York and San Bernardino and San Diego, and this all happened, were there any cities you went to where you just didn't get any videotape not worthy to air?" Giles replied: "We are airing it. It's pretty worthy. Everyone seems to be -- ." Hannity then asked: "In other words, you didn't go into one office, and they said, 'We're not going to help you do anything like that?' " Giles responded, "No."

Breitbart: "There's no place, as ACORN tried to state, that kicked them out based upon the premise that they were doing something nefarious." Following Giles' denial, Hannity turned to Breitbart and said, "Not one? Every place you went, they helped you or were willing to help you, either -- not report you for an underaged prostitution ring, evade taxes as we've -- ." Breitbart responded, "Right. The -- it is interesting. There's no place, as ACORN tried to state, that kicked them out based upon the premise that they were doing something nefarious."

O'Keefe: "None of the facilities kicked us out. That's a lie." During the September 13 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ, senior correspondent Eric Shawn asked O'Keefe, "ACORN says that you went to, what, five other places around the country where they kicked you out. ... [D]id you find ethical, honest ACORN employees in any of the places that you went to that kicked you out and said, 'No, we're not going to do this. We're not going to cooperate. We're not going to have ACORN help you'?" O'Keefe responded that the people at ACORN are "liars" and that he "[a]bsolutely" wanted an apology and later added: "[N]one of the facilities kicked us out. That's a lie."

During the same interview, Giles stated: "[A]bout the whole kicking out, I mean, the women in Baltimore hugged me and -- when I left. And the women in D.C. -- I did follow-up phone calls, and they asked if I could come and meet them for coffee so we could further discuss how to make this possible." Shawn then asked, "[Y]ou are saying that there were some that did refuse? James or Hannah?" Giles responded, "Not -- no."

Flynn: "It's not even just one random employee, it's so comprehensive, it's everywhere [O'Keefe] went." According to a September 16 article on the conservative website Human Events, Flynn, the editor-in-chief of BigGovernment.com, said in an exclusive interview: "It's not even just one random employee, it's so comprehensive, it's everywhere [O'Keefe] went. What shocks me is when you watch the videos, they don't even flinch."

But Philadelphia ACORN office says it called police after O'Keefe asked suspicious questions

Philadelphia ACORN Housing official: "[W]e called the police and filed this report." In a newly released YouTube video, Katherine Conway Russell, ACORN Housing Corp.'s Philadelphia office director, stated that O'Keefe visited the office "[l]ast July" with "another woman." Russell stated that "[a]fter asking several general questions, [O'Keefe] began to veer off into suspicious territory." Russell said that O'Keefe eventually "asked about bringing girls from El Salvador and getting them papers, et cetera," but that "I told them that there was nothing we could do to help them, that I didn't know anything about what they were asking about." Russell also said that after she contacted another ACORN official and it became clear that O'Keefe "lied to get his appointment," they contacted the police.

Below is an image of the police report:

acornpolicereport

CNN also reported that ACORN's Philadelphia office filed a police complaint

CNN's Tucker: "ACORN gave CNN a copy of the police complaint." On the September 11 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN news correspondent Bill Tucker reported: "ACORN gave CNN a copy of the police complaint filed against the filmmakers In Philadelphia. The filmmakers, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles are not commenting and Giles was a no-show for an agreed-to interview with CNN."

Transcripts

From the September 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: So, in other words, when you go to Baltimore and D.C. and New York and San Bernardino and San Diego, and this all happened, were there any cities you went to where you just didn't get any videotape not worthy to air?

GILES: We are airing it. It's pretty worthy. Everyone seems to be --

HANNITY: In other words, you didn't go into one office, and they said, "We're not going to help you do anything like that?"

GILES: No.

HANNITY: Not one? Every place you went, they helped you or were willing to help you, either -- not report you for an underaged prostitution ring --

BREITBART: Well --

HANNITY: -- evade taxes, as we've --

BREITBART: Right. The -- it is interesting. There's no place, as ACORN tried to state, that kicked them out based upon the premise that they were doing something nefarious.

From the September 13 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ:

SHAWN: You went to -- two tapes have been released. They've been released on BigGovernment.com. That's where they've been released first. And James, ACORN says that you went to, what, five other places around the country where they kicked you out. I mean, what can you say about that? Were there -- did you find ethical, honest ACORN employees in any of the places that you went to that kicked you out and said, "No, we're not going to do this. We're not going to cooperate. We're not going to have ACORN help you?"

O'KEEFE: What I will say is that when we -- after we did the Baltimore ACORN facility, they issued a statement saying we were kicked out of all the other ones, and then we came out with the D.C. one, and they were -- they turned out to be liars. So, I would just hold out and see, you know, how much they're willing to lie. And at the end of this, we're going to see the truth come out, and we're going to see them apologize to me and Hannah.

SHAWN: You want an apology from ACORN?

O'KEEFE: Absolutely.

GILES: Also, about the whole kicking out, I mean, the women in Baltimore hugged me and -- when I left. And the women in D.C. -- I did follow-up phone calls, and they asked if I could come and meet them for coffee so we could further discuss how to make this possible.

SHAWN: So, at least in these first two tapes, they didn't kick you out, but you are saying that there were some that did refuse? James or Hannah?

GILES: Not -- no.

O'KEEFE: Say that again?

SHAWN: Were there some that refused your offers, that actually did not -- were not willing to cooperate?

O'KEEFE: In none of the facilities -- none of the facilities kicked us out. That's a lie.

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