Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

Source: Politico | October 19, 2020 | Natasha Bertrand

More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter casting doubt on the provenance of a New York Post story on the former vice president’s son.

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” the Post reported it was given a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he got it from a Mac shop owner in Delaware who also alerted the FBI.

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.

“If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that “the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering.”

The former Trump administration officials who signed the letter include Russ Travers, who served as National Counterterrorism Center acting director; Glenn Gerstell, the former NSA general counsel; Rick Ledgett, the former deputy NSA director; Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA senior operations officer; and Cynthia Strand, who served as the CIA’s deputy assistant director for global issues. Former CIA directors or acting directors Brennan, Leon Panetta, Gen. Michael Hayden, John McLaughlin and Michael Morell also signed the letter, along with more than three dozen other intelligence veterans. Several of the former officials on the list have endorsed Biden.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said on Monday that the information on Biden’s laptop “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” though the FBI is reportedly conducting an ongoing investigation into whether Russia was involved.

The New York Times raised questions on Sunday about the rigor of the Post’s reporting process, revealing that several of its reporters had refused to put their name on the Biden stories because they were concerned about the authenticity of the materials. The Post stood by its reporting, saying it was vetted before publication.

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  • Discussion
  •  EVERYDAY #43836

    Someone said the constant dredging up of new claims about the Bidens is like throwing a plate of spaghetti against the wall to see what will stick. This is — what? — the third? supposed scandal involving the Bidens. The others have been found to be without any factual basis. So now Trump and his surrogates like Rudy have come up with another, and this one is even more far-fetched than the last ones.

    It’s a typical tactic of Trump and his campaign — dig up any dirt that can be found on an opponent and if you can’t find anything, make up something. Trump used this tactic to great effect against Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries. None of the stories were proven, but it didn’t matter. Gullible people believed the stories just because they were out there.

    However, I believe things are a bit different this year. Many of us who questioned claims made against Justice Kavanaugh are questioning these stories too — possibly because many of us have actually become Biden supporters and voters. We want proof and from the looks of this story, there wont be any.

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