Cornell Dean Purportedly Caught on Video Encouraging Student to Start Pro-ISIS Club

A new video from conservative provocateur James O’Keefe purports to show a dean at Cornell University telling a prospective student that, yes, he can bring a “freedom fighter” from ISIS to speak at the Ivy League school.

An undercover member of Project Veritas posed as a prospective student from Morocco and visited assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, to ask about extracurricular activities and student groups. According to the video, Scaffido allegedly agrees with the student’s suggestions that they bring a pro-ISIS “freedom fighter” to “do like a training camp for students” and “educate” the students about the group’s goals, possibly bring someone from Hamas as well, and maybe send them some care packages? As the New York Post puts it, Scaffido seemed to encourage the creation of such groups:

How about supporting Hamas?

No problem at all, Scaffido said.

“The university is not going to look at different groups and say, ‘You’re not allowed to support that group because we don’t believe them’ or something like that. I think it’s just the opposite. I think the university wants the entire community to understand what’s going on in all parts of the world,” Scaffido said.

Considering the heavily-edited nature of O’Keefe’s videos, it’s possible that Scaffido thought that the guy referred to anti-ISIS forces when he kept talking about “freedom fighters”. But when a student asks if they can bring in a group that “supports Hamas” — which the State Department officially recognizes as a terrorist group — the best bet is to probably say no. (Another, barely charitable opinion: Scaffido doesn’t know what the term “ISIS” stands for, and the volunteer took advantage of it by continually referring to the group as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.)

In a statement, Joel Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations, told the Post that “Cornell fully supports the free exchange of ideas and does not review or control the political ideology of our students. We do not, of course, tolerate unlawful advocacy of violence, and the comment about training by ISIS freedom fighters does not reflect university policy.”

Watch the video below, via Project Veritas:

[Image via screenshot]

— —

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:
  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. SportsGrid
  6. AmboTV
  7. Gossip Cop