James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, just accused POLITICO of “deliberately” misrepresenting a letter that he signed regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story. That letter was also signed by 50 other intelligence veterans.
Clapper was the top nation’s spy chief while Obama served in the White House. He said the letter did not assert that reporting on the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation operation.
He told the Washington Post’s Fact Checker that there was message distortion. “All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation. Politico deliberately distorted what we said. It was clear in paragraph five,” Clapper said.
The letter signed by 50+ top officials came out just before the 2020 presidential election. It warned that reporting about the laptop’s alleged contents “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Those that signed the letter stressed that they did not know if the emails being reported at the time were genuine.
Joe Biden, a candidate at the time, used the letter to create doubt on the laptop story during one of the debates with former President Donald Trump.
“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan,” Biden said during the debate.
But a new report indicated that Clapper claimed he was unaware of how Biden described the letter during the presidential debate.
POLITICO responded that the article fairly and accurately reported on the intelligence officials’ letter.
“More specifically, 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’s statement read.
Abbe Lowell, Hunter’s attorney, later insisted the letters do not “confirm” the laptop was his client’s device.