LISTEN: CNN Execs Spike ‘Breitbart, New York Post, Fox News’ Hunter Biden Laptop Story

CNN president Jeff Zucker attends the 11th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released audio Wednesday of a purported conference call or calls in October in which CNN president Jeff Zucker appears to tell editors to spike the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

On October 14, the New York Post published emails found on a laptop apparently belonging to Hunter Biden, suggesting that his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, had met in 2015 with one of Hunter’s business associates from the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

That directly contradicted Joe Biden’s claims on the campaign trail never to have done so: “I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period.”

Further emails suggested that Hunter Biden had attempted to arrange a joint venture with Chinese energy company in which the “big guy,” an apparent reference to Joe Biden, would hold a 10% stake.

Emails obtained independently by Breitbart News showed that Hunter Biden’s business associates had arranged business meetings with the Obama-Biden administration for Chinese executives linked to the Communist Party.

Twitter and Facebook suppressed the laptop story, and the Post was locked out of its Twitter account for more than two weeks. CNN, too, joined in suppressing the story, as O’Keefe’s audio suggests.

On the audio, Zucker is heard telling staff that CNN would not cover “the Breitbart, New York Post, Fox News rabbit hole of Hunter Biden.” He cites a Wall Street Journal story reporting that Joe Biden’s name does not appear on corporate records for the joint venture with the Chinese company, but as the Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel noted, it appeared that Biden’s name was hidden on purpose.

CNN political director David Chalian is heard agreeing that CNN would not cover the story, falsely claiming that “Senate Committees looked at and found nothing wrong in Joe Biden’s interaction with Ukrainians.”

In fact, a report presented in September by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance found that Joe Biden allowed his family members to enrich themselves while he was Vice President. The report also found that members of the State Department had flagged an apparent conflict of interest when Hunter Biden, took a seat on the board of Bursima, the Ukrainian energy company, while his father was in charge of U.S. policy on Ukraine.

Chalian is also heard apparently admitting to CNN colleagues that emails found on Hunter Biden laptop did, in fact, suggest that Joe Bide had meet with a Bursima official, but dismissed the claim as Rudy Giuliani’s “dream-a-vision.”

David Vigilante, CNN’s general counsel, is heard saying that the network should be “careful” about the story, and criticizing journalists who had tweeted it. “What in the world are Maggie Haberman [of the New York Times] and Jake Sherman [of Politico] doing retweeting the story?”

Twitter suspended Sherman’s account simply for sharing the link to the story.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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