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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe pushed back against House Intelligence Committee chairman and ‘Russian collusion’ truther Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and others Sunday who claim incriminating emails discovered on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden are part of a Russian “disinformation campaign.”
In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Ratcliffe also criticized Schiff and other lawmakers who he says are attempting to use the intelligence community for political purposes and specifically, in the case of the California Democrat, to protect his preferred presidential contender.
“It’s funny that some of the people who complain the most about intelligence being politicized are the ones politicizing the intelligence,” Ratcliffe said. “Unfortunately, it is Adam Schiff who said the intelligence community believes the Hunter Biden laptop and emails on it are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”
He added definitively, “Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign.
“It’s simply not true,” Ratcliffe continued, noting that one of his primary objectives upon taking over as DNI earlier this year was to de-politicize the intelligence community.
“Hunter Biden’s laptop is NOT part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” ~Director of National Intel John Ratcliffe just now
In response to a follow up about claims Biden’s laptop was connected to a Russian disinformation effort, @DNI_Ratcliffe reiterated it’s just not true.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) October 19, 2020
Last week, the New York Post first reported that emails contained on a laptop Hunter Biden dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop last year allegedly contained evidence of corruption and collusion between his father and Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.
Previously, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden denied he ever spoke to his so about his foreign business dealings and Burisma in particular, though one email highlighted by the Post was allegedly sent to Hunter Biden from a ranking executive of the company thanking the son for introducing him to his father in 2015.
The thank-you email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board of directors, was sent in April of that year, months after Hunter Biden was appointed as a board member.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the April 17, 2015 email read, the Post reported.
A follow-up story from the Post contained alleged emails outlining details of lucrative business dealings and payments to Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family from Chinese firms.
At least some of those payments were noted in a report last month stemming from a year-long investigation by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) which said they were red-flagged by American banks and U.S. government agencies as potentially criminal.
As additional details, allegedly from materials contained on the laptop, spilled out following the initial Post reports, a narrative in left-leaning media and Democratic circles that the information was planted by the Russians began to form.
However, in his interview with Bartiromo, Ratcliffe made it clear that’s not the case.
“Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” Ratcliffe said, adding again that “this is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”
Over the weekend, Schiff told CNN, “We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin. That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about this vice president and his son.”
But a senior intelligence official backed the DNI.
“Ratcliffe is 100% correct,” a senior intelligence official told Fox News.
“There is no intelligence at this time to support Chairman Schiff’s statement that recent stories on Biden’s foreign business dealings are part of a smart campaign that ‘comes from the Kremlin,’” the source said.
“Numerous foreign adversaries are seeking to influence American politics, policies, and media narratives. They don’t need any help from politicians who spread false information under the guise of intelligence,” the source noted further, Fox News reported.
Ratcliffe confirmed earlier reports that the FBI has the original laptop.
“Without commenting on any investigation that they may or may not have, their investigation is not centered around Russian disinformation and the intelligence community is not playing any role with respect to that,” he said, adding: “The intelligence community has not been involved in Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
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