Director of National Intelligence Denies Links Between Hunter Biden Laptop and Russian Propaganda Scheme
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe denies that a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden and contains injurious emails is part of an ongoing disinformation campaign by the Russian government to disrupt the presidential election.
Instead, Ratcliffe accused Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of politicizing intelligence reports to further their own political agenda – which he claims is to destroy President Donald Trump.
“It’s funny that some of the people who complain the most about intelligence being politicized are the ones politicizing the intelligence,” Ratcliffe told host Maria Bartiromo. “Unfortunately, it is Adam Schiff who said the intelligence community believes the Hunter Biden laptop and emails on it are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”
DNI John Ratcliffe tells Maria Bartiromo that Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign pic.twitter.com/eM2n8pnFaJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
“Let me be clear,” Ratcliffe continued. “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress.”
Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), quickly fired back, saying in a statement that Ratcliffe “is purposefully misrepresenting Chairman Schiff’s words in an effort to mislead the public.”
The “new wave of attacks” on Biden “are consistent with the false and unsubstantiated narratives that the President, his personal lawyer, and a sanctioned Russian agent have been pushing for well over a year,” Boland said. “We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin, that’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about the vice president and his son.”
Schiff's spox responds w/ a statement that Ratcliffe is " is purposefully misrepresenting Chairman Schiff’s words in an effort to mislead the public." pic.twitter.com/GAeHc6NLsJ
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 19, 2020
The laptop and the emails allegedly contained within it were part of a stack of documents turned over to the New York Post – a right-wing Rupert Murdoch tabloid – by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s idle personal attorney and Fox News ambassador, late last week.
Twitter and Facebook blocked users from sharing a subsequent Post article over concerns that the information Giuliani provided was Russian propaganda. Giuliani has been identified by American intelligence agencies as a middleman between the Trump Administration and Russian intelligence.
“U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter,” The Washington Post wrote an investigative report last Wednesday.
Nevertheless, according to Giuliani, the emails contain correspondence between Biden and Vadym Pozharskiy, an adviser to Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company whose board Biden served on during his father’s time in office.
Giuliani claims that the messages reference a meeting between Pzharskiy and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, and that it proves Biden was using his influence at Burisma to help his father.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskiy supposedly wrote to Biden on April 17, 2015. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
Biden’s dealings with Burisma have not been found to contain anything clandestine, according to a Senate investigation that concluded in early October, and the Biden presidential campaign has denied that a meeting between Pzharskiy and the former veep ever took place.
“We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place,” a Biden campaign spokesman told Politico.
Giuliani has offered no evidence to support his conspiracy theory that has not already been determined to be flowing from the Kremlin.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting its own probe into the subject.