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During Thursday’s broadcast of the “CBS Evening News,” correspondents and analysts suggested that incriminating emails exposing alleged Biden family corruption were planted by Russian intelligence operatives and released in an attempt to sway the November election in President Donald Trump’s favor.
The emails, according to the New York Post — which first reported them — were discovered on a MacBook Pro hard drive a man believed to be Hunter Biden left with a computer repair shop in Delaware last year but never returned to pick up.
One email suggests that Democratic presidential nominee Joe, then vice president, met with a high-ranking official with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma ahead of son Hunter Biden landing a lucrative board member position with the company. Others indicate that Hunter Biden was using the family name in an attempt to strike deals with Chinese firms, while another strongly suggests that half the money Hunter earned on such deals was shared with his father.
.@RudyGiuliani should be the Attorney General
— HARLAN Z. HILL 🇺🇸 (@Harlan) October 15, 2020
The Post has reported that the emails and other materials provided to the outlet by presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani were retrieved from the hard drive of the MacBook Pro computer.
Still, CBS Evening News correspondent Nancy Cordes appeared to suggest Thursday that Russian operatives hacked the emails and provided them to the Post.
At the same time, anchor Nora O’Donnell heralded efforts by Twitter and Facebook to censor or reduce the distribution of the Post reports because they were “unverified.”
“And tonight, the Trump campaign is accusing Twitter and Facebook of censorship after the social media companies blocked the spread of an unverified story about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and a laptop allegedly full of his old e-mails,” O’Donnell said.
“It’s a story raising concerns about whether it’s real or just designed to sow confusion in the final weeks of the election,” she continued.
To open her segment, Cordes did not question the legitimacy of the emails and other materials but instead suggested a sinister plot involving Russians.
“Experts say it has all the hallmarks of information laundering and all the headaches of 2016,” she said, drawing a comparison to WikiLeaks and the 2016 campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“This time, it’s a tabloid newspaper dribbling out e-mails, purportedly swiped from Vice President Joe Biden’s son,” she added.
Cordes went on to hint that Giuliani obtained the materials from a Russian agent ahead of bringing on “a former FBI operative” who concurred.
“Steal the information with a cyber-attack, get the e-mails from Hunter Biden’s account, and then put them on these laptops that are left at a repair store, and that’s how the information is now laundered into the public,” Eric O’Neil, now a national security strategist with VMware, said.
“Who do you think was behind this?” Cordes asked in a leading manner.
“Well, the Russians would be my number one guess. If I had to guess,” O’Neill responded.
Cordes concluded her report by imagining that “the goal of these incidents appears to be the same” as 2016, “to cast a cloud over the front-runner in the closing weeks of the campaign using a drip, drip, drip of e-mails that create the air of scandal.”
Again, the Post was clear: The emails and other materials came from the hard drive of a computer reportedly dropped off for repairs by Hunter Biden.
In fact, the materials were damning enough to the computer repair shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, that he — through an intermediary — contacted the FBI. The bureau seized the laptop but never followed up with Isaac, who had made a copy of the hard drive, months later. He now thinks that the FBI is involved in covering up what is on the hard drive.
To that point — and to the baseless claims made by CBS News — the FBI has instead launched a probe into the emails themselves rather than the alarming content of the materials.
NBC News reported Thursday evening that the investigation will center on whether the emails “are linked to a foreign intelligence operation.”
Read this story from the person who went on a prime-time MSNBC show to suggest that Trump "might be" a Russian asset since the 1980s and see if there's even a shred of evidence for the drearily predictable claim that the Russians are likely behind the Hunter Biden docs: 🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺 https://t.co/1hanjQd75S
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 14, 2020
Also, the Washington Post, citing alleged but unnamed sources, cast shade at Giuliani rather than the emails and alleged Biden family corruption they expose in a made-to-order story that matched the emerging counter-narrative.
“U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter,” the paper reported.
“The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president,” the Post continued.
“The warnings to the White House, which have not previously been reported, led national security adviser Robert O’Brien to caution Trump in a private conversation that any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, one of the former officials said.”
The Washington Post, along with The New York Times, CNN, and other major ‘mainstream’ outlets also reported, for years, using anonymous sources, that evidence of Trump-Russia collusion existed, though several congressional and Justice Department investigations have found none.
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