Former top intelligence officials who claimed the Hunter Biden laptop story was a disinformation campaign propagated by Russia in the weeks leading to the 2020 election have remained silent following the release of the explosive internal Twitter emails.
Former CIA director and defense secretary Leon Panetta, former CIA directors John Brennan and Mike Hayden, and former director of national intelligence, Jim Clapper, remained silent after their claims the New York Post’s reporting had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Journalist Matt Taibbi released internal Twitter emails on Friday, which exposed the company’s decision to suppress the story.
The emails showed undeniable evidence that Twitter officials took actions to suppress the story on the possibility the report contained hacked materials, despite there being no evidence or government findings of such.
Then-Twitter communications official Trenton Kennedy questioned the decision to suppress the story on the ‘hacked materials’ basis: “I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, then-Vice President of Global Communications Brandon Borman asked, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
Just days after the story was suppressed, over 50 former intelligence officials published an open letter on October 19, 2020, saying the story came from the Russian government.
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,” they wrote.
The letter added to quash the explosive story, which had the potential to implicate then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The NY Post story revealed private emails of shady business dealings with foreign actors and compromising sexual material on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which he left in a Delaware repair shop.
Some business-related emails potentially referenced Joe Biden as “the big guy.”
A former aide under Brennan, Nick Shapiro, told Politico:
“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 letter was also signed by former acting CIA Directors John McLaughlin and Michael Morell and over three dozen other former intelligence officials.
In September, The Daily Fetched reported that Michael Hayden argued it is “perfectly fine” to share disinformation as long as it protects the right people, like President Joe Biden.
Hayden said he had not “maintained much interest in the story,” New York Magazine reported.
“‘I’m not following it,’ he said, but he stood by the decision to sign and release a statement about a theory for which there was only circumstantial evidence,” Hayden said.
“I was perfectly fine with that,” Hayden added.
“It looked like disinformation. … It would be nice if we didn’t have to do anything or say anything, but the Russians were doing so much,” the forme CIA director continued.