Politico ‘Deliberately Distorted’ Letter Flagging Hunter Biden Laptop As Potential Russian Disinfo, Former DNI Says

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper accused Politico of “distorting” a letter he and dozens of former national security officials signed regarding a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden at a Delaware computer repair shop, claiming it was potential Russian disinformation, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Politico’s October 2020 report, headlined as “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” cited the letter signed by Clapper that claimed the abandoned laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

“All we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation,” Clapper told the Post. “Politico deliberately distorted what we said. It was clear in paragraph five.” (RELATED: Ex-Intel Officials Who Claimed Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Disinformation’ Are At It Again)

“We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement,” the aforementioned paragraph in the letter said.

John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the repair shop, sued Politico and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California for defamation in May.

Politico said its article “fairly and accurately reported” the contents of the letter regarding the laptop in response to Clapper’s claims, according to the Post.

The letter appeared after the Oct. 14, 2020 New York Post report on the contents of the laptop, including email correspondence. Twitter locked multiple accounts, including the New York Post’s and the personal account of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for sharing the story, citing a “hacked materials” policy.

The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed the authenticity of one of the emails in October 2020. The Washington Post and New York Times confirmed the authenticity of the data in March 2022 in articles about investigations into Biden by the Department of Justice.

The Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, a part of the House Judiciary Committee, held a hearing Thursday that centered on the censorship of the report. Documents released to journalist Michael Shellenberger by Elon Musk show that the FBI contacted Twitter about the potential for leaks involving Hunter Biden prior to the New York Post’s report.

Clapper has been accused of lying to Congress about the NSA’s mass surveillance program during March 2013 testimony that was later contradicted by classified documents provided to journalists by Edward Snowden two months later. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report in 2017 saying Clapper provided “inconsistent testimony” regarding contacts with the media while he served as DNI.

Politico did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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