A White House spokesperson on Friday deflected Republican accusations that the Biden campaign orchestrated an effort by former intelligence officials to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 presidential election.
Ian Sams, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, tweeted Friday:
Think about this: instead of working with President Biden on solutions to real problems Americans care about — like lowering costs or tackling gun violence — House Republicans keep weaponizing their power to re-litigate the 2020 election in a wacky strategy to get on Fox News.
Think about this: instead of working with President Biden on solutions to real problems Americans care about – like lowering costs or tackling gun violence – House Republicans keep weaponizing their power to re-litigate the 2020 election in a wacky strategy to get on Fox News. https://t.co/x1QUj2FcGb
— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) April 21, 2023
Meanwhile, the State Department refused to address the issue at a press conference on Friday.
On Thursday, Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Intelligence Committee chairman Michael Turner (R-OH) revealed in a letter that former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell had testified to Congress that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had contacted Morell regarding the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, which “set in motion the events that led to the issuance of a public statement” by more than 50 former intelligence officials who discredited the story as Russian disinformation.
If true, that means the Biden campaign orchestrated the effort to censor a damaging story about Biden — rather than how the statement was presented at the time: as concerned national security and intelligence experts warning the public about Russian disinformation.
Blinken, at the time, served as Biden’s closest foreign policy adviser. The Biden campaign paid Blinken more than $100,000 for his work, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Morell also testified that before Blinken’s call, he had no intention of helping to issue the statement but that his call had triggered that intent. Morell would draft the statement that was signed by 51 former officials and pushed to Politico. Morell also testified that Biden’s campaign requested that the statement be released via a specific reporter by the Washington Post.
After the statement, Twitter and Facebook moved to censor the story and accounts sharing the story — including the New York Post’s Twitter account — preventing the story’s spread just weeks before the election. The contents found on Hunter Biden’s laptop raised questions such as if Joe Biden profited from his son’s shady business dealings with Chinese and other foreign business partners.
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Jordan and Turner slammed Blinken’s involvement as preventing Americans from being able to make informed decisions during the presidential election.
“Based on Morrell’s testimony, it is apparent that the Biden campaign played an active role in the origins of the public statement, which had the effect of helping to suppress the Hunter Biden story,” the chairmen wrote.