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Clapper, Politico battle over Hunter Biden disinformation story

Feb 14

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Politico and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are at odds over a two-year-old report that dozens of intelligence officials believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. The article, published in October 2020, cited a letter signed by more than 50 former senior intelligence officials.

“The arrival on the U.S. political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” the letter read. It’s important to note the phrase “information operation,” which is not the same thing as disinformation in the national security community.

Despite the difference between the two terms, Clapper believed the Hunter Biden emails were disinformation, which Politico went on to report. Two years later, Clapper has called out Politico for its reporting.

“All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation,” Clapper said in an interview with the Washington Post. “Politico deliberately distorted what we said.”

Politico has stood by its reporting in the face of growing investigations over censorship regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story.

“The headline is a fair summary of their allegations, the subhead offers additional context, and the first paragraph of the article hyperlinks to the letter itself, allowing readers to draw their own conclusion,” Politico said in a statement.

Threats of legal action against Politico over its reporting will likely go nowhere. Neither Clapper nor any of the other former intelligence officials who signed onto the letter are likely to testify under oath.

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A fight is ensuing between Politico and a former director of national intelligence over a two-year-old report that dozens of intelligence officials believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation.
The article — published in October of 20-20 — cited a letter signed by more than 50 former senior intelligence officials.
The letter reads quote “The arrival on the U-S political scene of emails purportedly belonging to the then former Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
It’s important to note that last phrase — “information operation.”
It is not the same thing as disinformation in the national security community.
Despite this — former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper believed the Hunter Biden emails were disinfo — which Politico went on to report.
Two years later — Clapper is finally lashing out.
Quote — “All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation. Politico deliberately distorted what we said.”
Meanwhile — Politico has stood by its reporting — saying quote “The headline is a fair summary of their allegations, the subhead offers additional context, and the first paragraph of the article hyperlinks to the letter itself, allowing readers to draw their own conclusion.”
Threats of legal action against Politico over its reporting will likely go nowhere — with Clapper or any of the other former intelligence officials who signed onto the letter unlikely to testify under oath.


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