Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had "nothing to do" with a woman who tried to dupe the Washington Post earlier this month by falsely claiming that Alabama Senate GOP candidate Roy Moore once impregnated her, a source close to Bannon told the Washington Examiner.
The Post reported Monday that a woman approached two of its reporters in early November, claiming to have had a relationship with Moore when she was 15 years old that led to a terminated pregnancy. The woman's story contained a handful of inconsistencies, according to the Post, which ultimately decided against publishing it.
Reporters who were tasked with fact-checking the woman's claims soon discovered that she may have been employed by Project Veritas, an organization run by conservative activist James O'Keefe that aims to expose liberal bias in the press. The group has built a reputation for producing undercover video sting operations exposing reporters or editors and their left-leaning politics.
"I have never heard Bannon say James O'Keefe's name since I started working with him," said the source close to the Bannon. "They must know each other from O'Keefe's work for Breitbart back in the day, but he certainly isn't in touch with him now."
O'Keefe was recruited by Breitbart founder Andrew Breitbart in 2009, after he released a series of undercover videos that seemingly showed workers at the nonprofit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now engaging in criminal planning. He later wrote a column on Breitbart's website, reportedly and landed a $120,000 contract with the populist outlet.
Breitbart News also denied having any involvement in the Project Veritas scheme in an article posted Monday under the headline: "James O'Keefe and Washington Post bust each other."
"No one at Breitbart News was involved in, or aware of, O'Keefe's investigation," the article read.
O'Keefe declined to respond to questions from the Post on Monday, after reporters for the outlet noticed that the woman who initially approached them had entered Project Veritas' New York office and stayed for more than an hour.
Bannon and his allies have stood by Moore in the wake of several allegations of sexual misconduct. The former West Wing aide has compared the scandal to the "Access Hollywood" tape that President Trump was forced to apologize for weeks before the 2016 election.
The embattled GOP senator, who has minimized his public appearances since the accusations emerged, is facing a tough contest against Alabama Democrat Doug Jones. The special election is set to take place on Dec. 12.