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National GOP Officials Paid $1000 To Teen For Undercover Video Of Democratic Candidate

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) - A high school student from Saratoga County who went undercover in May to record Democrat Tedra Cobb at an event for teenagerswas paid three times by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The NRCC made the payments to the 17-year-old for what federal disclosure documents describe as "research materials consulting."

Since June, the teen from Rexford in Saratoga County has also identified himself as an intern for the campaign of Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

In an email to North Country Public Radio Tuesday, Stefanik spokesman Lenny Alcivar once again declined to provide any information about the boy's ties to the Stefanik organization. NCPR is not releasing the teenager's name since he is still a minor.

Payments began after secret video was recorded

The NRCC made its first payment to this teenager on May 31, in the amount of $651.53.

Less than two weeks earlier, the 17-year-old secretly filmed a "Teens for Tedra" event at a private home in Gansevoort. His footage showed Tedra Cobb, the Democratic congressional candidate, speaking about her support for an assault weapons ban — and saying that she couldn't share that position publicly for fear of political blowback.

A second payment followed on June 14, this time for $178.04. The NRCC used the same description for the teenager's work.  The last payment — for $150 — was issued on June 27. That's about two weeks before the teenager's recording of the "Teens for Tedra" event appeared on YouTube.

NRCC: Teen is "currently not active" as tracker

In messages to North Country Public Radio on Tuesday, NRCC spokesman Chris Martin said he wouldn't provide details about the committee's tracking operations or its policies for hiring minors. However, Martin confirmed that the young man did not approach the NRCC with this recording.

"We contract with folks on a case-by-case basis, and he's currently not active on any projects," Martin wrote.

Rep. Stefanik and her staff have refused to confirm whether the teenager's claim that he is an intern with her organization is accurate.

The boy and his father, reached by telephone on Monday, declined to comment and asked not to be contacted again.

More coverage from North Country Public Radio