bernie sanders gulag

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James O’Keefe claims Bernie Sanders will throw Trump fans in gulags

The far-right troll finally drops his big video.


David Covucci


Posted on Jan 14, 2020   Updated on May 19, 2021, 5:53 pm CDT

Are you a diehard supporter of President Donald Trump, the kind of MAGA-swag wearing man who isn’t afraid to shout “I love my president!” while walking down the streets of New York City?

Well, then, prepare to be appalled. Right-wing disinformation peddler James O’Keefe III is here with his first “expose” of the 2020 election. He’s running an interview of a field organizer from the Sanders campaign, where he says that if Sanders is elected, Sanders will run anti-Nazi re-education camps for the most ardent of Trump’s white nationalist base.

O’Keefe is the head of Project Veritas, a far-right outlet that uses misleading edits and various forms of entrapment to try and catch Democrats, liberals, and media members in “shocking” statements. His buffoonish efforts have tried to take down CNN, Twitter, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and various other national figures, all without any success.

Now, he’s setting his sights on the 2020 race.

“So like, in Nazi Germany after the fall of the Nazi party there was a shit-ton of the populace that was fucking Nazified,” Sanders organizer Kyle Jurek said in the O’Keefe video. “Germany had to spend billions of dollars re-educating their fucking people. To not be Nazis.”

Like all Project Veritas videos, it’s unlikely the Project Veritas employee identified themselves before speaking with Jurek. In the past, Project Veritas employees have posed as dates to get people to speak with them.

And, the merits of de-Nazifying the world aside, a person on a campaign of over 300 salaried employees and infinite more volunteers hardly speaks to the literal plans of Sanders.

It’s not a plank of his platform or a tab on his website, mainly because it has no basis in reality. But that didn’t stop some of the more prominent voices in right-wing activism from demanding Sanders denounce his secret plan to establish gulags, or labor camps, in America.

It’s unclear who, exactly, O’Keefe is trying to persuade. But specific targeting isn’t entirely the point of these videos. Instead, the goal is to flood timelines with ambient disinformation—as much as possible, really—in the hopes that some sentiment of it sticks in the recesses of the average voter’s mind.

“Sanders, gulags? I certainly don’t like that.”

So don’t fall for it.


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*First Published: Jan 14, 2020, 12:02 pm CST