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Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP

Over the course of two weeks, a woman named Jaime Phillips met for several interviews with the Washington Post during which she falsely alleged that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had a sexual relationship with her in 1992 and that she had an abortion at 15, the Post reports. The story was fake, and, while she told it, Phillips repeatedly asked Post reporters how her claims would impact Moore's bid for the Senate if made public.

The fallout: When the Post confronted Phillips about inconsistencies in her story, she "insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists." But Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas — a group that goes after mainstream media by feeding reporters fake stories to expose, as the organization calls it, media bias.

The Post confronted Phillips. Here's how it happened:

  • She said "she met Moore in 1992, the year he became a county judge. She said she was 15. She said they started a "secret" sexual relationship."
  • "She said that she got pregnant, that Moore talked her into an abortion, and that he drove her to Mississippi to get it."
  • "Phillips also repeatedly asked the reporter to guarantee her that Moore would lose the election if she came forward."
  • "Alice Crites, a Post researcher who was looking into Phillips's background, found the document that strongly reinforced the reporters' suspicions ... It was on the website GoFundMe.com under the name Jaime Phillips. 'I'm moving to New York!' the May 29 appeal said. 'I've accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM...'"
  • "'Um, yeah, I was looking to take a job last summer in New York, but it fell through,' Phillips said. 'Yeah, it was going to be with the Daily Caller, but it ended up falling through, so I wasn't able to do it.'"
  • Paul Conner, executive editor of the Daily Caller, told the Post: "None of us has interviewed a woman by the name Jaime Phillips."

Worth noting: Earlier in November, an Alabama pastor received a voicemail from someone posing as a Washington Post reporter and offering money in exchange for damaging information about Roy Moore.

Go deeper: The full story from the Washington Post (with video)

Go deeper

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

3 hours ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

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