Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said he was vindicated by “the truth” Tuesday after his predecessor James Clapper claimed a letter he signed dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation was “deliberately distorted.”
Clapper, who served as director of National Intelligence under former President Obama, said this week that Politico “deliberately distorted” an infamous letter signed in October 2020 by him and more than 50 other ex-intelligence officials – which claimed that Hunter’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
RATCLIFFE: HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP WAS A PARTISAN DOMESTIC ‘DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN’
Ratcliffe at the time publicly rejected the letter’s assertion, stressing that U.S. intelligence officials found “no intelligence that supports that” theory. But his rejection of the Russia narrative made him a target of liberal pundits and media outlets who spent months chastising him for contradicting others in the national security community.
“It was one against 50 at the time. But I knew the truth was on my side and ultimately the truth defends itself,” Ratcliffe said Tuesday on “The Story.” ” You tell the truth about that. I told the truth about Russian collusion not existing, I told the truth about there being abuse at the FISA court. And you get attacked for those things. But at the end of the day, the lesson is, if you tell the truth, you’re ultimately going to be proven right.”
The letter was obtained by then-Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand for a story headlined, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” mere weeks before the 2020 election.
Clapper told The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler in an article published Monday that the contents of the letter were “distorted” to definitively dismiss the story as Russian disinformation, arguing that “all we were doing was raising a yellow flag that this could be Russian disinformation. Politico deliberately distorted what we said. It was clear in paragraph five.”
OUTRAGE AS JAMES CLAPPER, OTHER HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP SKEPTICS SUDDENLY SPEAK OUT AGAINST MEDIA: ‘WHAT A FRAUD’
“To me, it’s a difference without a distinction. It could have been bad information, false information,” he added. “But we had no evidence, no inside baseball that it was. The intent of the letter was that this could be Russian disinformation — emphasis on could.”
But despite Politico’s framing, Clapper and other signatories didn’t come out of the woodwork at the time to dispute their characterization of their words. Nor did they seem to care that numerous Democrats, including future Biden officials like Jen Psaki, Susan Rice, Kate Bedingfield, Andrew Bates and others, shared the story on Twitter or touted its contents in interviews.
Instead, Clapper and others waited more than two years to speak out on the mischaracterization of the letter – just as House Republicans are investigating the matter. Ratcliffe said Clapper and other signatories didn’t cry foul at their own words allegedly being twisted at the time because they believed they put the story to bed with the Russian disinformation claim.
FLASHBACK: BIDN OFFICIALS PUSHED ANGLE THAT HUNTER LAPTOP WAS ‘RUSSIAN DISINFO’
“He’s getting heat and everyone knows something that he thought would never happen —which is that everyone would know that what I was saying at the time was true about the Hunter Biden laptop not being Russian disinformation, that the laptop was real,” Ratcliffe told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum.
The day after the Politico story published, left-wing CNN political analyst John Avlon praised the officials for speaking out and lambasted Ratcliffe for disputing the Russian narrative, accusing him of political hackery.
“Of course, this is in contrast to Trump’s DNI John Ratcliffe, who seemed to attest to its validity or say they had no sense it was hacked. But it really speaks to how much he has lost credibility and acted… in a very nakedly partisan, political way,” he said at the time.
Ratcliffe said he’s relieved the American people are “finally seeing the truth” adding that Clapper and others are now “having to account for it in a very public embarrassing way.’
The laptop, which was first reported in October 2020, contained details about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, including an email suggesting he peddled his father’s powerful position to help his interests, as well as salacious material involving sex and drugs.
Fox News’ Hanna Panreck, Brian Flood and David Rutz contributed to this report.
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post