A former reality show contestant allegedly used an alias to "honey pot" Democrats and lure them into conversations, which she then would secretly record for Project Veritas. Anna Khait, a Russian-born professional poker and a former contestant on the reality show Survivor, used the alias Hope Higgins several years ago when she joined Project Veritas, according to a Daily Beast report.
Khait was a participant on Survivor in 2000 but she also worked for Project Veritas, it has been revealed. The right-wing activist group is known to produce videos, often via the use of secret recordings, to discredit mainstream media organizations and progressive groups.
Khait and Her Targets
Of the several men, one honey trapped by Khait, aka Higgins, was Democratic campaign worker Michael Kolenc. Khait introduced herself to Kolnec as Higgins in July 2018, he told Daily Beast. According to Kolenc, Khait lured him into a romantic relationship and then recorded a video of him making damaging statements about his former boss, Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
She then handed over the videotape to Project Veritas which was later published. During her romance with Kolnec Higgins never gave her real name and told him that she was the host of the politics podcast Red State Blue State. She also claimed herself to be a Democrat and said that she was keen to discuss Beto O'Rourke's chances in the Texas Senate race later that year.
"I am looking forward to hearing about Beto. I've heard some not so great things but we have got to win in 2018!" Khait wrote to Kolenc, hiding behind her liberal Higgins persona.
Once the interview was over, Khait spoke to Kolenc over drinks and said she would "enjoy the company, the outlet reported.
Kolnec said that Khait was flirty form the very beginning and and that made him fall for her. "She was very flirty, she would touch my arm," Kolenc said. "I was definitely picking up a more romantic feeling than a 'journalist.'"
Weeks of text messaging ensued after Higgins returned home to Brooklyn. Kolenc then almost immediately flew to New York to meet her again.
"I'm usually not that daring or romantic," Kolenc said. He spent a few days in New York with her, but she seemed to be looking for excuses to avoid him. And after he flew back to Houston, she ghosted him.
Kolnec finally realized that he has been honey trapped a few days later after receiving a voicemail from Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe. O'Keefe told Kolnec that he was about to release the video of Kolenc taken by Higgins.
The footage was finally released a few days later and a month before the gubernatorial election in 2018. The video showed Kolenc criticizing Brown's management of her campaign although he was already fired two years earlier as her campaign manager.
Kolnec still wonders why it was necessary to honey pot him for this revelations as he speaking against Brown could have been captured on camera in an easier way. "It took a toll on my mental health. It made me less trusting of people," Kolenc said.
However, Kolnec wasn't the only target. Interviews with another man who says he was targeted by Khait, along with emails and text messages reviewed by The Daily Beast, reveal more details about her years-long work as an undercover operative.
In fact, Khait was reportedly working as an undercover even till some time back. As recently as April, she worked for a new incognito conservative operation that is separate from Project Veritas but deploys some of its same strategies—and, in the case of Khait, its personnel.
That said, Khait was one of many women who were tasked with secretly recording targets on camera according to the New York Times. The New York Times first reported on Khait's work for O'Keefe's organization in May, revealing that she was one of several women working out of a rented Georgetown home who were tasked with secretly recording targets on camera.