October 19, 2020

SPECIFIC DISINFORMATION, OR GENERAL?:

FBI Examining Hunter's Laptop As Foreign Op, Contradicting Trump's Intel Czar (Spencer Ackerman & Will Sommer, Oct. 19, 2020, Daily Beast)

One senior intelligence official told The Daily Beast that the community is still working to determine if the Hunter Biden materials--which were leaked to the press by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani--stem from a specific Russian intelligence operation. Giuliani has for years worked with Ukrainian parliamentarians with links to Russia, including one "Russian agent," to propagate disinformation about the Obama administration and the Biden family, including Hunter Biden. While Giuliani and his confidantes have previously spoken publicly about Hunter Biden's drug use, intelligence officials are investigating whether this last-minute push to release material through Trump-friendly media outlets stems from some particular directive from Moscow or whether it is an extension of Giuliani's years-long effort to use Ukrainian intermediaries to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Whatever the case may be, intelligence officials say the recent packaging of the Hunter Biden material looks similar to something the Russians would do to sow chaos in U.S. domestic politics. But, officials say, Moscow wouldn't necessarily need to muddy the waters by being directly involved in the latest dissemination of materials because Giuliani has already taken the lead.

"The Intelligence Community has stated publicly that Russia is once again seeking to benefit Donald Trump's election campaign by denigrating Joe Biden," said Patrick Boland, spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. "The new wave of attacks we are seeing ... are consistent with the false and unsubstantiated narratives that the President, his personal lawyer, and a sanctioned Russian agent have been pushing for well over a year. They appear intended to distract from recent reports that the White House, as early as December 2019, was made aware that Rudy Giuliani was being leveraged by Russian proxies as part of Kremlin efforts to interfere in our election."

Posted by at October 19, 2020 12:38 PM

  

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