In an interview clip released Friday by CBS News, Hunter Biden said that a laptop containing highly controversial materials first reported weeks ahead of the presidential election “could” be his, though his now-president father, Joe Biden, once dismissed it as “Russian disinformation.”
“For real, I don’t know,” Hunter Biden told correspondent Tracy Smith when she asked him where the laptop came from during the interview for “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Smith then asked if him if he thought the laptop “could” have belonged to him.
“Of course certainly,” he said. “It, it, there could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the — that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me.”
Months after it was alleged that a laptop revealed Hunter Biden’s business interests in China and Ukraine, the president’s son tells Tracy Smith that the laptop “could be” his
— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) April 2, 2021
During last year’s presidential campaign, then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden said information gleaned from the laptop, which was first reported by the New York Post that included Hunter Biden allegedly introducing foreign energy executives to his father, was a Russian disinformation campaign.
“Yes. Yes. Yes,” Joe Biden said in response to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy about stories circulating at the time regarding information said to have been found on the laptop. “God love ya, man. You are a one-horse pony.”
Doocy’s question at the time did not contain the word “laptop.” But candidate Biden claimed in October after the initial reports from The Post that the laptop was linked to a Russian “disinformation… smear campaign.”
“Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter’s computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign,” Joe Biden was asked during a “60 Minutes” segment on CBS.
“From what I’ve read and know, the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden,” the Democratic candidate responded.
“When you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani, the president together, that’s just what it is. It’s a smear campaign,” he noted further.
A U.S. intelligence community assessment did conclude that Moscow attempted to interfere in the 2020 election on behalf of Biden. Also, several media outlets reported that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was also targeted by Russian intelligence operatives.
That said, the U.S. intelligence community also concluded that the laptop was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign aimed at the Bidens.
“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,” then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News. “It’s simply not true.”
FBI and senior Justice Department officials would later concur with Ratcliffe’s statement.
Computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac, who turned over copies of the hard drive to his father, Giuliani, and the FBI, has said that he is certain Hunter Biden is the one who dropped of — and then abandoned — the laptop in question.
“I have no doubt in my mind,” Isaac said in January. “Probably about within 30 minutes of performing the data transfer, I had been able to verify that the person that was in the shop was indeed the person that was on the computer and the owner of the computer.”