Former President Donald Trump’s top spy chief claims law enforcement knows the laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden is indeed the laptop of President Joe Biden’s son, blasting the former intelligence officials, politicians, and members of the media who suggested the laptop story was a Russian disinformation operation.
Last week, Hunter Biden falsely claimed the intelligence community publicly concluded that his laptop saga is “Russian disinformation.” During the media blitz to promote his memoir, Beautiful Things, he admitted that the laptop allegedly dropped off for repairs at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 “certainly” could be his and suggested it could have been stolen, could have been hacked, or Russian intelligence services could have been involved. He provided no evidence.
John Ratcliffe, who served as Trump’s director of national intelligence, discussed Biden's comments about the laptop during an appearance on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News.
“To your point earlier about his book tour and the things that he doesn’t remember over the last four years, again, there was an FBI investigation ongoing at the time, before the election. It was Hunter Biden’s laptop. The things on that laptop that the FBI and the Department of Justice have — those are real,” Ratcliffe said. “But now the question is: will Joe Biden’s Department of Justice exercise prosecutorial discretion against Joe Biden’s son? I don’t know the answer to that. I know what the answer should be.”
Biden has said he doesn't know if he ever lost a laptop, saying, “Not that I know of, but, you know, read the book, and you’ll realize that I wasn’t keeping tabs on possessions well for about a four-year period of time.” During a podcast interview last week, he also claimed a recently released report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence assessed the laptop story was a Kremlin-based falsehood.
The report concluded that “Russian state media, trolls, and online proxies, including those directed by Russian intelligence, published disparaging content about President Biden, his family, and the Democratic Party, and heavily amplified related content circulating in US media, including stories centered on his son.” It did not reference the Hunter Biden laptop story and reached no public conclusions related to it.
Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, along with many in the media, dismissed the laptop story, which emerged in October, as being part of a Russian disinformation operation, without evidence. Concerns about Hunter Biden gained broader attention late last year after multiple outlets reported that he is being federally investigated in connection with his taxes and potentially related to his overseas business with China.
During a presidential debate, Joe Biden dismissed the laptop emails as part of a “Russian plan,” saying, “there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what [Trump's] accusing me of is a Russian plan.”
Biden was referring to a Politico report that over 50 ex-intelligence officials, including Obama CIA Director John Brennan, signed a letter in an article titled “ Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.” The signatories cited another article claiming that “federal authorities are investigating whether the material … is part of a smoke bomb of disinformation pushed by Russia” but stressed that “we do not know whether these press reports are accurate.” The officials claimed the laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation” but admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
Ratcliffe blasted the officials on Sunday.
“To have 50 former Obama-Clinton-Biden national security officials come out after the director of national intelligence says this is not true, and protect a false narrative to protect Joe Biden and try and influence the outcome of the election, that is the definition of politicizing intelligence,” he said. “And people ask me all the time about election interference and election influence, and yeah, we need to be concerned about Russia and China and Iran, but there’s no greater expression of that than what you just saw there. A completely false narrative.”
“The intelligence community knew that this was not Russian disinformation, and law enforcement knew that it was Hunter Biden’s laptop — there was an open investigation into that, and yet those officials, supported by a corporate media, ran a false narrative and misinformed the American people,” he added.
Ratcliffe also pointed to comments made by Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff in October. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked about the laptop, and Schiff claimed without evidence that the laptop story originated with Russia, saying, “Clearly, the origins of this whole smear are from the Kremlin.” Blitzer also asked Schiff about a picture of Trump holding up a copy of the New York Post, and Schiff said that “this particular smear, though, has also been acknowledged to come from the Kremlin, and there it is in the Oval Office, another wonderful propaganda coup for Vladimir Putin.”
At the time, Ratcliffe weighed in, saying, “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that, and we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It is simply not true.”
On Sunday, Ratcliffe added, “It’s about being truthful, and that’s why I came out at that time after Adam Schiff came out with a false political narrative about this being Russian disinformation when there was absolutely no intelligence to support that. And it shouldn’t surprise us — that’s what Adam Schiff does as a politician.”
After being asked in December if he still thought reports about his son were Russian disinformation, Joe Biden said, “Yes, yes, yes. God love you, man — you're a one-horse pony, I tell you.”
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