Project Veritas, the far-right activist group, has released hundreds of hours of audio recordings of CNN president Jeff Zucker's morning editorial conference calls, in which he said President Donald Trump was acting "erratically and desperately" and told his staff members to target Lindsay Graham.
Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe, 36, announced on Tuesday that he was releasing the secretly-recorded clippings of several network meetings between Zucker and staff members over the past two months, which he claims will "expose" Zucker and other CNN executives' "political biases."
'We Cannot Just Let [Trump's Behavior] Be Normalized'
In one of the calls, Zucker can be heard saying: "This is a president who knows he's losing, who knows he's in trouble, is sick, maybe is on the after-effects of steroids or not. I don't know. But he is acting erratically and desperately, and we need to not normalize that."
"You know, this is what we've come to expect for the last three and a half years, four years, but it clearly is exacerbated by the time that we're in and the issues that he's [Trump] dealing with," Zucker adds. "I think that we cannot just let it be normalized. He is all over the place and acting erratically, and I think we need to lean into that."
During the phone call, Zucker also claimed the network was being "too polite" to conservatives like Lindsay Graham.
CNN Threatening Legal Action After O'Keefe Crashes Zucker's Phone Call
The audio recording followed a livestream video released by Project Veritas in which O'Keefe crashed a morning editorial call with Zucker, unmuted himself and told the CNN president that he was going to release tapes from previously recorded phone calls between him and his staff members.
"Mr Zucker, are you there? Hey, this is James O'Keefe. We've been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months, and recording everything. I just wanted to ask you some questions if you have a minute," he began.
"Do you still feel you're the most trusted name in news, because I have to say from what I've been hearing on these phone calls, I don't know about that; we have a lot of recordings that indicate you're not really that independent as a journalist," O'Keefe tells Zucker.
After a few seconds of silence, Zucker replies by saying, "Uh..thank you for your comments," before quickly cutting the discussion short.
"So everybody, I think in light of that we'll set up a new system and we'll be back with you. We'll do the rest of the call later," he said. Watch the video below:
Shortly after the video went up, CNN's Communication team accused O'Keefe of breaking the law and threatened legal action. "Legal experts say this may be a felony. We've referred it to law enforcement,' the network tweeted in response to the video.