Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper is being accused of “covering his tracks” regarding his signing of a letter in 2020 that claimed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was a “Russian information operation,” according to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Johnson told Newsmax on Tuesday that the letter Clapper signed was an information operation that interfered in the election to a far greater extent than anything Russia could have hoped to accomplish.
Meanwhile, Clapper is defiantly accusing Politico of “deliberately distorting” the letter. The letter was signed by 50 other intelligence officials and written in October 2020, shortly after the New York Post first reported on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. Clapper and at least a dozen other signees endorsed Joe Biden for president that year.
‘I knew the truth’: Fmr. intel chief John Ratcliffe calls out Clapper over Hunter Biden laptop letter https://t.co/xhOVWqIc0X via @BIZPACReview
— pp (@PaulPoi20152232) February 15, 2023
.@Jim_Jordan is requesting an interview with James Clapper former Director of Nat’l Intel, who discredited the Hunter Biden Laptop story as “Russian Disinformation.”
This narrative was a complete fabrication by clapper & 50+ former intel officials. https://t.co/VeUgG65lKz
— † KING BENEDICT NEWMAN🇺🇸★★★ (@_fisherofmen_) February 15, 2023
On Monday, Clapper told Glenn Kessler with the Washington Post 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.” Another signer, former deputy DNI for analysis Thomas Fingar, told the corporate media giant that no one should be “surprised” by members of the media or politicians who “willfully or unintentionally” misconstrue statements.
Meanwhile, Johnson argues that every intelligence official who signed the 2020 letter needs to be interviewed by the committee and asked how they got involved in signing it. By doing so, he believes investigators might determine who masterminded the operation. In response to being asked if he thinks the committee will get Clapper to testify, Johnson said, “That’s why he’s trying to cover his tracks right now.”
The Post also noted another signer of the letter, former Defense Intelligence Agency deputy director Douglas Wise, told reporters that signers believed the laptop was at least somewhat legitimate in order “to make any Russian disinformation credible.” Fingar agreed with that assertion and said the best disinformation campaigns are based on factual information.
Twitter is also under fire for suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story on the social media site shortly before the 2020 election. Several former Twitter executives testified before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee about the decision. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed during the hearing that the story was “half-fake” while incredulously complaining that House Republicans wanted to pursue the matter.
Johnson said he believes that the people who signed the letter are “trying to backtrack” now that Hunter Biden has been confirmed as the laptop owner. He says they are now weaseling away from their brash 2020 position by claiming they never actually said the laptop was Russian disinformation.