PHOTO CREDITS: AP
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said on Monday that Hunter Biden’s laptop “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” amid claims by Democratic leadership suggesting otherwise.
During an exclusive interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” Ratcliffe was asked about the allegations from Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who over the weekend called “Russian misinformation” allegations about Hunter Biden emails suggesting Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had knowledge of, and was allegedly involved in, his son’s foreign business dealings. Ratcliffe stated “Let me be clear: 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.”
He added that “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” Ratcliffe’s comments come after Schiff described the emails as being part of a smear coming “from the Kremlin.” Schiff said on CNN that “it’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about this vice president and his son.”
A senior intelligence official backed up Ratcliffe’s assessment. “Ratcliffe is 100% correct,” the senior intelligence official said, according to Fox News. “There is no intelligence at this time to support Chairman Schiff’s statement that recent stories on Biden’s foreign business dealings are part of a smart campaign that ‘comes from the Kremlin.’ Numerous foreign adversaries are seeking to influence American politics, policies, and media narratives. They don’t need any help from politicians who spread false information under the guise of intelligence.”
Ratcliffe said “The FBI has had possession of this,” he said. “Without commenting on any investigation that they may or may not have, their investigation is not centered around Russian disinformation and the intelligence community is not playing any role with respect to that.” He added: “The intelligence community has not been involved in Hunter Biden’s laptop.” The FBI declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, as is standard practice.
Ratcliffe went on to say that his role as director of National Intelligence, which he assumed earlier this year, is “to not allow people to leverage the intelligence community for a political narrative that’s not true.” He said that “In this case, Adam Schiff saying this is part of a disinformation campaign and that the intelligence community has assessed and believes that — that is simply not true. Whether its Republicans or Democrats, if they try to leverage the intelligence community for political gain, I won’t allow it.”
Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is investigating Hunter Biden’s emails. The emails in question were first obtained by the New York Post and alleged that Hunter Biden introduced the then-vice president to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma.
When Biden was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin, who was the top prosecutor at the time. He had been investigating the founder of Burisma. “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden infamously said to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018. However, Biden has maintained that his intervention prompting the firing of Shokin had nothing to do with his son, but rather was tied to corruption concerns.
The Post report revealed that Biden, at Hunter’s request, met with Vadym Pozharskyi in April 2015 in Washington, D.C. The meeting was mentioned in an email of appreciation, according to the Post, that Pozharskyi sent to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015 — a year after Hunter took on his position on the board of Burisma.
Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates last week hit back against the New York Post story, saying: “Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.” Biden, prior to the emails surfacing, repeatedly has claimed he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
The Post reported that the emails were part of a trove of data recovered from a laptop which was dropped off at a repair shop in Delaware in April 2019. The Post reported that other material turned up on the laptop, including a video, which they described as showing Hunter smoking crack while engaged in a sexual act with an unidentified woman, as well as other sexually explicit images. The FBI reportedly seized the computer and hard drive in December 2019. The shop owner, though, said he made a copy of the hard drive and later gave it to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello. The Post reported that the FBI referred questions about the hard drive and laptop to the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, where a spokesperson told the outlet that the office “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.”
Joe Biden has remained silent on questions about his knowledge of his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings, which were discussed in a series of emails purportedly found on a laptop belonging to his son. While the Biden campaign has hit back at the New York Post report, the former vice president himself has not given a substantive answer on the emails. Biden, over the weekend, was asked about the Post report by a reporter, to which he replied: “I have no response.” It’s “another smear campaign,” he said. A lawyer for Hunter Biden told the Post that Giuliani “has been pushing widely discredited conspiracy theories about the Biden family, openly relying on actors tied to Russian intelligence” (FOX).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE