The former top intelligence chief under then-President Donald Trump offered his explanation as to why several officials within the intelligence community tried to claim Hunter Biden’s laptop was ‘Russian disinformation.’
John Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman and federal prosecutor who became Trump’s director of national intelligence, told Fox News on Sunday that no one within the intelligence community had the authorization to make the claim about Biden’s laptop.
In fact, Ratcliffe said “there was only one reason why a member of his office would be in contact with Twitter in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election as described in the messages” released via the Twitter Files, the Daily Wire reported.
Any such meeting would have needed the approval from then-President Trump’s National Security Council, and also would be a part of a “coordinated process” to give election security briefings to “groups” of private firms as well as state election officials, he told host Maria Bartiromo.
He also said no meetings would have involved censoring content, which Twitter did, according to files CEO Elon Musk has released through journalists.
“None of those meetings, Maria, would have had anything to do with content moderation, much less anything to do with specifically” any warnings about the Biden laptop being part of a Russian disinformation effort, he said. “There never would have been any authority or reason for anyone within the intelligence community to be saying anything otherwise.”
20. This post about the Hunter Biden laptop situation shows that Roth not only met weekly with the FBI and DHS, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI): pic.twitter.com/s5IiUjQqIY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
The Daily Wire added:
Reporting about the laptop started in October 2020, during the final weeks of the presidential election cycle when Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, was running for the White House. Much of the laptop’s contents, which included details about Hunter’s business dealings, drug use, and sex life, have since been analyzed and shown to be authentic. But at the time of the laptop’s emergence, social media companies, including Twitter, took steps to temporarily suppress the spread of the story, leading to claims of improper election influence by former President Donald Trump and his allies.
Ratcliffe said his assertion back in October 2020 that the laptop was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign, as suggested in a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials, was “the official position of the intelligence community” and “has never been changed, even to this day.”
Slamming what he termed a “domestic disinformation campaign,” the former DNI said the incoming House GOP majority should investigate why former FBI lawyer James Baker, who left the bureau to become Twitter’s deputy general counsel during Trump’s term, appeared to support the platform’s move to suppress reports from the New York Post about the laptop.
The disclosure in the Twitter Files led Musk to fire Baker.
“One of the things that needs to be determined is what was [Baker’s] relationship with Twitter before he got to Twitter, and was he sharing information as the FBI general counsel to the benefit of one political party, to the detriment of another, that then continued when he got to Twitter?” Ratcliffe said.
— The Dirty Truth (Josh) (@AKA_RealDirty) December 11, 2022