Former Intel Official Doubles Down on Hunter Laptop ‘Russian Misinformation’ Letter

News & Politics

In October 2020, when news of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” first broke, there was a large, coordinated effort to suppress the story. Social media platforms restricted the New York Post bombshell story from being shared, the mainstream media refused to cover it, and whenever it was discussed, it was dismissed as “Russian disinformation.” This claim was bolstered by a letter from 51 current and former intelligence officials who said the story of the laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

Earlier this year, after the mainstream media finally conceded the laptop was genuine, the New York Post reached out to the intelligence officials to see if any regretted signing on to the letter. Of those who responded, none apologized. One who didn’t comment was former CIA analyst and manager David Priess.

Related: Feds Announce They Have Enough Evidence to Nail Hunter Biden—but You Already Knew That

Preiss appeared on the Fox News Channel Tuesday night, and host Brett Baier decided to bring up the letter and get Preiss on the record.

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“In October, days before the 2020 election, you signed onto this open letter, which was published by Politico. It said, ‘We write to say that the arrival on the U.S. political scene of emails purportedly belonging to Vice President Biden’s son Hunter, much of it related to his time serving on the Board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.’ Why did you sign onto that?” Baier asked.

“Yeah, because of what it says. It has all of the classic earmarks of one of these operations. You’ll note elsewhere in the letter – if you read it – that it also says we don’t know if this is a Russian operation at all. That has been dramatically changed in the retelling of the story,” Priess replied. “But the letter is merely pointing out that this is the kind of thing that, time after time after time, people who study Russian disinformation, intelligence officers who look at Russian tactics over the long period of time, this is the kind of thing they like to amplify to sow discord.”

Baier then pointed out that the laptop’s authenticity was eventually confirmed by the mainstream media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. He also mentioned that despite the nuance Preiss stressed, Joe Biden (who most certainly knew the laptop was genuine) cited the letter as proof the laptop was fake during his debate with Trump.

Preiss nevertheless doubled down on his talking point that the laptop story had the “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” but that they never claimed definitively that it was.

“Do you regret signing onto the letter?” Baier followed up.

“Absolutely not. Because those words are still true,” Priess said.

“Do you think it changed the outcome of the election?” Baier asked.

“Oh, absolutely not. No,” Preiss insisted, despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Terming the laptop ‘disinformation’ by the FBI, Intelligence Community, Congress, and the Biden campaign, along with Big Tech, impacted voters,” TIPP President Raghavan Mayur said in August, citing TIPP’s latest poll on the issue. “A significant majority — 78% — believe that access to the correct information could have been critical to their decision at the polls.”

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