UPDATE: Former US attorney 'regrets' losing temper at conservative journalist James O'Keefe

Josiah Ryan
Contributing Reporter
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Tulane University assistant-Dean Letten "regrets his conduct, caught on video.

Former U.S. attorney and Tulane University assistant-Dean Jim Letten “regrets” the angry tirade he unleashed at James O' Keefe which was caught on video last month, the university said in a statement on Monday.

According a different statement released at nearly the same time, an official said the school had permanently banned O'Keefe from returning to campus.  

WATCH: Tulane assistant dean berate James O' Keefe, throws book at him

"Mr. Letten regrets losing his temper in addressing the impropriety of Mr. O’Keefe’s conduct," wrote Michael Strecker, Tulane University's Executive Director of Public Relations in an emailed statement about the video. 

The school did, however, accuse O'Keefe of "intimidating and harassing" Letten, who is officially the school's assistant dean for experiential learning.

"This exchange, arising from an issue related to his previous position as U.S. Attorney, followed visits to Jim Letten's home and campus office by James O'Keefe and his film crew that were intimidating and harassing to both his wife and staff," wrote Strecker.  

“Despite the provocation of these unannounced and uninvited visits, Mr. Letten regrets losing his temper in addressing the impropriety of Mr. O’Keefe’s conduct," he wrote, in the full statement.

In a different, but shorter statement, Strecker told The Blaze's Oliver Darcy that O'Keefe had been banned from campus but did not say when the ban had been issued.

"James O'Keefe and his companions were issued restricted presence letters by the Tulane University Police Department, meaning that they are not allowed to enter the private property of Tulane's campus, he said. 

Project Veritas' video however, tells a much different story, documenting O'Keefe's approaching Letten's house via the front door and politely requesting to speak with the former US attorney. In that visit, O'Keefe and his team appeared to leave when they were told he was not available. It is unclear whether that was the incident to which Letten and the school were referring.

The university responded late Monday afternoon, after several news outlets, including Campus Reform, linked to a video O'Keefe released of the incident in which the former attorney shouted and called O’Keefe names.

“You are a nasty cowardly little spud, all of you, you're hobbits,” Letten shouted in the video, which was released by O’Keefe’s organization, Project Veritas.

“You are less than I can ever tell you,” continued the former-attorney, who briefly lead a prosecution effort against O’Keefe in 2010. “You are scum. Do you understand?”

Letten, who was surrounded by campus security personnel, also appeared to throw a copy of O’Keefe’s book “Breakthrough” back at him, after O’Keefe had handed it over just seconds before.

Letten added that O’Keefe was “a snail,” a “horse's ass,” and an “asshole.”

The disagreement apparently stemmed from 2010 when Letten briefly lead a felony prosecution of O'Keefe and colleagues after they were arrested in New Orleans and accused of attempting to sneak into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office to make recordings.

Letten later recused himself from the case and the charges were lowered to a single misdemeanor for which O’Keefe was found guilty.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JosiahRyan

Josiah Ryan

Josiah Ryan

Contributing Reporter

Josiah Ryan is a contributing reporter for CampusReform.org and former director of communications for LI's Campus Leadership Program. 

Previously Josiah reported on the U.S. Senate for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. and was the cofounder of The Floor Action blog, a live-stream on policy, politics, and procedure in the upper chamber.

Josiah served as a reporter for the Jerusalem Post and JPOST TV in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he wrote on religion, culture, and the conflict.

Josiah is 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College. 

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