50 former intelligence officials warn NY Post story sounds like Russian disinformation
More than 50 former intelligence officials said emails alleged to have been found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden show signs of a Russian disinformation operation.
Several of the signers have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to Politico, which first reported the letter. The letter states that its signers do not have new information about the emails and their authenticity.
“We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case,” the letter, released Monday, states.
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,” the signers added.
The letter is signed by both former Trump administration and former Obama administration officials, including former CIA directors John Brennan, who served under Obama and has battled with President Trump, and Leon Panetta, who also served under Obama.
Former National Counterterrorism Center acting Director Russ Travers, who served under Trump, and former National Security Agency general counsel Glenn Gerstell, who served in that roll from 2015 to 2020 under Obama and Trump, also signed the letter.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that his office does not consider the contents of the laptop “part of some Russian disinformation campaign,” but the FBI is reportedly investigating the possibility.
While the New York Post has stood by its initial reporting of the emails, a New York Times story published Sunday said several Post reporters were concerned about the accuracy of the story and did not want their bylines on it.
Giuliani suggested he took the material to the Post because other outlets wanted to verify its authenticity, telling the Times “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”