Former intelligence officials dismissed Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation
Former DNI director James Clapper, former chief of staff for secretary of defense Jeremy Bash claimed Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation.
Cable news pundits who were among the 51 former intelligence operatives who famously signed a 2020 public letter claiming Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop was “Russian disinformation” have declined to admit they were wrong since a pair of liberal newspapers confirmed the computer’s authenticity.
Former CIA chief of staff-turned MSNBC pundit Jeremy Bash, CIA director-turned MSNBC pundit John Brennan and ex-director of national intelligence–turned-CNN pundit James Clapper are among the retired intelligence operatives who insisted the laptop revealing Hunter Biden’s shady overseas business dealings, along with a cache of damning emails and photos, was the result of a “Russian disinformation” campaign designed to help keep then-President Trump in office.
None of the 51 signees expressed regret when reached by The New York Post, which first reported the bombshell laptop story prior to the 2020 election, last month after The New York Times admitted the laptop was legitimate. Since then, the Washington Post has also reported the laptop is authentic.
Fox News Digital reached out to the three signees who now work for liberal media networks — Bash, Brennan and Clapper — but not responded to a series of questions including why they have not addressed it on air, whether they regret signing the letter and if network producers have kept them silent.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is now a CNN pundit.
Bash appeared on MSNBC for multiple segments since the Times confirmed the laptop’s authenticity on March 16, discussing Ukraine, Jan. 6, China and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Through Thursday afternoon, Bash did not mention the laptop in any of the 11 segments he appeared in since the Times report.
Brennan has appeared on MSNBC at least 5 times since the laptop was authenticated but has never mentioned the laptop. Like Bash, he largely stuck to analysis of Ukraine and Russia while avoiding Hunter Biden.
Clapper has been on CNN at least 12 times from March 16 through Thursday afternoon but never mentioned the laptop, either. CNN hosts including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon didn’t even bother to ask him about it, instead sticking to questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While Clapper has ignored the laptop on air, the New York Post reported that Clapper “doubled down” on his original assertion, responding to a request for comment by saying that he stands by his statement AT THE TIME (emphasis his) and that sounding a “cautionary note” based on a paragraph from the Post’s report was “appropriate” then.
MSNBC pundit John Brennan and CNN pundit James Clapper both signed a 2020 public letter claiming Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop was ‘"Russian disinformation."
Some members of the intelligence community retire but maintain security clearance, and some senior-level staffers such as CIA directors and their top deputies are often read-in on government secrets, so they can offer educated opinions. Intelligence community sources feel that critics should expose the letter and put a spotlight on the fact that its signees were wrong, as it could hurt their personal brand, but removing security clearances would be too harsh.
Some feel the signees are entitled to their assessment and freedom of speech, while others are outraged they haven’t admitted the error.
Last month when the Grey Lady admitted the laptop was legitimate, conservative radio host Buck Sexton, an ex-CIA officer, ripped the ex-intelligence officials who hadn’t apologized, or in some cases doubled down.”
“It’s one thing when you have Brian Stelter [claiming] it’s Russian disinformation – he doesn’t know anything,” Sexton said on the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.” “Some of the former directors of our intelligence agencies — some of the folks that are on that front page of the New York Post I worked for — I know some of these people.”
CNN and MSNBC each spent months downplaying the relevancy of Hunter Biden’s scandalous laptop.
Sexton added, “They went either completely out of their minds or were willing accomplices in the lie, to the apparatus.”
According to Sexton, many of the officials are likely doubling down or standing put because they personally believe they “did their part” for the “bigger purpose” – which could be to defeat former President Trump or other personal reasons… [That] is what everybody should know about the apparatus. It’s not about the truth. It’s about power.”
Fox News’ Charles Creitz and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.
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