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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden's son "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

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More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent "disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden's son "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that "the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2020-10-20 02:41 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The funny thing is neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden have said any of the emails pictures or videos aren't real. Nowhere have they said that yet. All they said is it a smear.
Yeah 50 deep state former officials without looking at the emails or video have concluded that they're fake. Sure they are to be believed just like Steve Scully was independent.

#2 | Posted by homerj at 2020-10-20 09:20 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Deep state deep state derpee doopee doo

#3 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-10-20 09:39 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

#2 | Posted by homerj

You bring in your own style of Russian disinformation.

Russians-Republicans....Not much daylight between them.

#4 | Posted by Zed at 2020-10-20 10:39 AM | Reply

@#3 ... Deep state deep state derpee doopee doo ...

The Republican have shown me time and time again that when they refer to "deep state" officials, they really mean officials who put their oath to the Constitution over and above fealty to Pres "L'etat C'est Moi" Trump.



#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-10-20 11:15 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#3

The voice in my head while reading your post is the exact same voice in my head when I read Homer's post.

Well done!

#6 | Posted by bocaink at 2020-10-20 05:05 PM | Reply

"Hunter Biden Story Is Russian Propaganda.

Of course it is. I can't remember which "October Surprise" this was supposed to be but it was high on the list that Rudy Giuliani was supposed to deliver.

"Trumpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Trumpty Dumpty took a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't but Trumpty back together again."

#7 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-10-20 05:14 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

The funny thing is neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden have said any of the emails pictures or videos aren't real.

#2 | POSTED BY HOMERJ

Yes, we all remember when Obama released his birth certificate it put an end to that conspiracy theory.

#8 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2020-10-20 05:16 PM | Reply

I'm still undecided...not about the birth cert, but rather Mike's bulge.

But the retort agrees there's a laptop now? Whether it's russian or not let's take a look and formulate our own conclusions.

Biden crime family

#9 | Posted by mutant at 2020-10-20 09:50 PM | Reply | Funny: 4

Guiliani peddled this to Fox News. They took a pass. But once the Post published the article, Fox News ran with it faster than Trump ran away from Lesley Stahl's 60 Minutes interview.

#10 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2020-10-21 01:32 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But the retort agrees there's a laptop now? Whether it's russian or not let's take a look and formulate our own conclusions.
Biden crime family

#9 | POSTED BY MUTANT

You're not the first I've heard to make the "lets just see what it says, who cares where it came from" argument.

And it's pathetic. The desperation reeks.

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2020-10-21 07:48 AM | Reply

Yeah 50 deep state former officials without looking at the emails or video have concluded that they're fake. Sure they are to be believed just like Steve Scully was independent.

#2 | POSTED BY CULTISTJ

Amazing, still clinging to the "the life long grifting conman is the only honest person in the room" narrative.

Some people really are stupid beyond help.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2020-10-21 07:49 AM | Reply

"You're not the first I've heard to make the "lets just see what it says, who cares where it came from" argument."

In all fairness, we said the same thing about the Steele dossier.

#13 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 08:01 AM | Reply

FTR, I'm not saying there is anything in there that is particularly earth shattering, just that journalism is often based on unknown sources. We aren't too concerned with where the NY Times got Trump's tax returns either.

#14 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 08:03 AM | Reply

As evidence, the laptop(s) suffer from a problem in the chain of custody. How do we know they are Hunter Biden's laptops? How do we know he dropped them off in DE, while he was living in CA, to a blind, pro-Trump, shop owner when the in-store video of the transaction doesn't exist?

#15 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 08:09 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"As evidence, the laptop(s) suffer from a problem in the chain of custody. How do we know they are Hunter Biden's laptops? How do we know he dropped them off in DE, while he was living in CA, to a blind, pro-Trump, shop owner when the in-store video of the transaction doesn't exist?"

Fair questions. A blanket denial from the Bidens would be a good start.

#16 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 08:11 AM | Reply

"a blind, pro-Trump, shop owner when the in-store video of the transaction doesn't exist?"

Who, btw, turned them over to Rudy Giuliani's lawyer. How does a blind DE computer repair shop owner even know who in the hell Fruity G's attorney is?

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 08:12 AM | Reply

#16 This is an example of some of the thinking I've seen of the topic:

sea dawg @sanfordcw

There are probably real and fake emails mixed in on the phony laptop. When Biden camp denies, and the easily proven emails are proven, it blows denial of phony content.

Just don't say ---- Joe.

#18 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 08:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So you're acknowledging that the laptop is his then. At least that's moving in the right direction.

That said, I doubt the FBI is looking to pull a Comey twice in two consecutive elections. Biden can probably get away with burying his head in the sand until after the report is released. But doing that does not ingratiate him to centrist undecideds around whom the Biden campaign has been focused.

#19 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 08:32 AM | Reply

So you're acknowledging that the laptop is his then.

It's not his laptop. It never was his laptop. The Russians did the same thing in France in 2017. The emails were stolen from Burisma when they were hacked by Russian intelligence. The allegation mentioned above is that the Russian's MO is to mix REAL stolen emails with fake made-up emails. And then when the target denies the phonies, they lose credibility when the real ones are authenticated, thus throwing their entire denial into question.

#20 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-21 08:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"It's not his laptop. It never was his laptop."

Then why wouldn't the Bidens say so immediately? At that point you can easily convince people to look at anything that comes off that laptop skeptically.

#21 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 08:41 AM | Reply

Then why wouldn't the Bidens say so immediately?

They immediately denied the thrust of what the email was supposed to show, ie. that Joe Biden had a meeting with someone connected to his son's business interest. That is the only thing the laptop proports to involve Joe Biden himself in.

As for the rest of it, I think the reason why no blanket denials have been issued is quite logical - if the Biden's had no idea of these 3 laptops, no comment at all serves their immediate interests the best until they themselves can investigate the evidence and circumstances allegedly being connected to the campaign by the single thread that they've already credibly cut by disclosing Joe's calendar that contains no such meeting and those then in charge of his schedule who'd never heard of the Ukraine man supposedly involved.

#22 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-21 09:07 AM | Reply

In all fairness, we said the same thing about the Steele dossier.

#13 | POSTED BY HAGBARD_CELINE

Except the source was known as was the people who funded it.

Big difference.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2020-10-21 09:11 AM | Reply

Except the source was known as was the people who funded it.

#23 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2020-10-21 09:11 AM | REPLY

Not really. We know the author, Steele. The sources are "witting and unwitting anonymous sources known to the author". They have never been specified iirc. Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC. Republicans through Free Beacon stopped their efforts a month before the Dem lawyer turned up at Fusion GPS. After that, Fusion GPS hired Steele's firm to build the dossier. and #FakeNews was born.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-10-21 09:39 AM | Reply

"As for the rest of it, I think the reason why no blanket denials have been issued is quite logical - if the Biden's had no idea of these 3 laptops, no comment at all serves their immediate interests the best until they themselves can investigate the evidence and circumstances allegedly being connected to the campaign by the single thread that they've already credibly cut by disclosing Joe's calendar that contains no such meeting and those then in charge of his schedule who'd never heard of the Ukraine man supposedly involved."

That's way too nuanced to be persuasive to the centrist undecided voters that Biden hopes to win over. These are people who don't pay attention to politics until the weeks before an election and you want them to think that through? I think it's a mistake. It's easier to absorb an unfounded accusation than it is to process a response like that even if it's rational. To these people it just sounds like obfuscation and an attempt to cover something up.

#25 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 11:54 AM | Reply

"So you're acknowledging that the laptop is his then. At least that's moving in the right direction."

Not at all. The emails could have been hacked and put on the laptop(s). Some of the hacked emails could be legit, but some could be doctored or made up whole cloth. Who the heck stores their emails on their laptop anyway?

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 12:02 PM | Reply

#20 Exactly.

#27 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 12:05 PM | Reply

Hmmm:

Kyle Cheney @kyledcheney

Fox reports in this thread (contra the lead story on Fox home page) that the FBI may be eyeing the Mac repairman as a *target* rather than a cooperator and that the prospect of foreign interference re: the Hunter Biden laptop is still very much in play >>>

Jacqui Heinrich @JacquiHeinrich

..The FBI's handling of John Paul Mac Isaac indicates he is a target of the investigation, rather than a witness. Mac Isaac stated that he met with the FBI once or twice, then the FBI stopped talking to him...

twitter.com

#28 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 12:18 PM | Reply

In all fairness, we said the same thing about the Steele dossier.

#13 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine

Except for the fact Michael Steele was the UK's former MI6 Russian counterintelligence official, not a visually impaired shop owner who was given a soggy laptop by someone who didn't even leave his name, then was somehow able to contact Rudy Guiliani's cell phone instead of turning it over to the feds.

#29 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2020-10-21 12:21 PM | Reply

Michael Steele = Christopher Steele

#30 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-21 12:27 PM | Reply

I'm telling you guys... centrist undecideds are not going to be persuaded by your arguments. It doesn't matter if those arguments are logical. They sound like typical political defensive tactics to them. Absent an unequivocal blanket denial that the laptop is his comes out the contents of that laptop are news, even if it later turns out after an complete investigation that everything you say about it is true. Telling people they shouldn't care about the story is not a winning strategy.

I'm just the messenger.

#31 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 12:36 PM | Reply

Yes, Christopher Steele. Freudian slip .. just saw him on TV. Thanks for the correction :-)

BTW, I saw someone comment elsewhere:

"If I f***ed up this bad, I'd want to talk about Hunter Biden too"

#32 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2020-10-21 12:37 PM | Reply

So the crack pipe picture was doctored by the russians or did a russian look alike pose as hunter and place it into his laptop with normal family photos? This laptop issue keeps squirming around. A denial would be better than hidin Mr. Biden.

Note how close the biden foundation for troubled kids is to this russian laptop repair shack.

#33 | Posted by mutant at 2020-10-21 12:57 PM | Reply

Smoking crack should be legal.
All drugs should be decriminalized.

Funny how the Pro-Freedom and Pro-Liberty Party sees it differently...

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-21 01:03 PM | Reply

"Michael Steele = Christopher Steele"

Remington Steele

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-21 01:04 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Think about it this way, people persuadable by logical arguments in Biden's defense are already on your side and probably have been on your side for a couple years now minimum. In these last remaining days before the election the fight is to win people over for whom logical arguments are not effective.

#36 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 02:07 PM | Reply

So the crack pipe picture was doctored by the russians or did a russian look alike pose as hunter and place it into his laptop with normal family photos?

Did it ever dawn on you that Hunter would keep a photo of himself committing a crime on his own laptop that obviously was taken by someone else?

Brilliant!

#37 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-21 02:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Crack heads do a lot of things that don't otherwise make sense. It's the nature of the beast.

#38 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2020-10-21 03:21 PM | Reply

#38

They can't take pictures of themselves when both hands are busy doing something else.

#39 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-21 03:31 PM | Reply

What doesn't make sense is hunter splitting his Board of Director take 50/50 with Pops, crackhead or not.

#40 | Posted by mutant at 2020-10-21 03:33 PM | Reply

Have you ever heard of a remote camera shutter actuator?

Who took the coke sniff off the butt picture then? Do keep up

#41 | Posted by mutant at 2020-10-21 03:35 PM | Reply

When will the campaign come up with a rudy g piss tape? Or perhaps a 15 yo sex escapade?

#42 | Posted by mutant at 2020-10-21 03:51 PM | Reply

The funny thing is neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden have said any of the emails pictures or videos aren't real. Nowhere have they said that yet. All they said is it a smear.
Yeah 50 deep state former officials without looking at the emails or video have concluded that they're fake. Sure they are to be believed just like Steve Scully was independent.
#2 | POSTED BY HOMERJ AT 2020-10-20 09:20 AM | FLAG: (CHOOSE) | FUNNY: 1

Mac Isaac appeared nervous throughout. Several times, he said he was scared for his life and for the lives of those he loved. He appeared not to have a grasp on the timeline of the laptop arriving at his shop and its disappearance from it. He also said the impeachment of President Trump was a "sham." Social media postings indicate that Mac Isaac is an avid Trump supporter and voted for him in the 2016 election.

Mac Isaac said he had a medical condition that prevented him from actually seeing who dropped off the laptop but that he believed it to be Hunter Biden's because of a sticker related to the Beau Biden Foundation that was on it. He said that Hunter Biden actually dropped off three laptops for repair, an abundance of hardware that he chalked up to the Biden son being "rich."

Throughout the interview, Mac Isaac switched back and forth from saying he reached out to law enforcement after viewing the files in the laptop to saying that it was actually the Federal Bureau of Investigation that contacted him. At one point, Mac Isaac claimed that he was emailing someone from the FBI about the laptop. At another point he claimed a special agent from the Baltimore office had contacted him after he alerted the FBI to the device's existence. At another point, he said the FBI reached out to him for "help accessing his drive."

Mac Isaac referenced the infamous Seth Rich conspiracy theory"which holds that a DNC staffer who police say was murdered in a botched robbery was actually killed off by Clinton allies because he leaked committee emails"as reason for his paranoia. He said he made a copy of the hard drive for the purposes of personal protection.

"They probably knew I had a copy because I was pretty vocal about not wanting to get murdered," he said, "so I'm going to have a copy."

Mac Isaac refused to answer specific questions about whether he had been in contact with Rudy Giuliani before the laptop drop-off or at any other time before the Post article's publication. Pressed on his relationship with Giuliani, he replied: "When you're afraid and you don't know anything about the depth of the waters that you're in, you want to find a lifeguard."

Seeming to realize he'd said too much, he added: "Ah, ----."

So Rudy was your lifeguard? the reporters asked. "No comment," he replied.


As evidence, the laptop(s) suffer from a problem in the chain of custody. How do we know they are Hunter Biden's laptops? How do we know he dropped them off in DE, while he was living in CA, to a blind, pro-Trump, shop owner when the in-store video of the transaction doesn't exist?
#15 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY AT 2020-10-21 08:09 AM

PRECISELY.

#43 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2020-10-21 04:44 PM | Reply

Also, one last point that Bill Maher clarified - you don't fall asleep from meth or crack. Whatever is happening in this alleged photograph sounds like he was passed out and posed, but by someone who doesn't know the difference. I can photoshop Trump eating a salad and it would be just as improbable.

#44 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2020-10-21 04:54 PM | Reply

PRECISELY.
#43 | POSTED BY REDLIGHTROBOT

All of this coming from the folks who still don't understand quid pro quo.

#45 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-10-21 05:16 PM | Reply

PRECISELY.
#43 | POSTED BY REDLIGHTROBOT
All of this coming from the folks who still don't understand quid pro quo.
#45 | POSTED BY RSTYBEACH11 AT 2020-10-21 05:16 PM

Listening to the interview describes Mac as a blind partisan, not an impartial person.

I agree - he's a Giulliani stooge. That is low on their totem.

#46 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2020-10-21 05:25 PM | Reply

Well, it looks like Rudy's career is about to end violently..:]

#47 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2020-10-21 05:43 PM | Reply

Multiple federal law enforcement officials, as well as two separate government officials, confirmed the authenticity of these documents, which were signed by FBI Special Agent Joshua Wilson. Wilson did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

One of the documents, obtained by Fox News, was designated as an FBI "Receipt for Property" form, which details the bureau's interactions with John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of "The Mac Shop" who reported the laptop's contents to authorities.

The document has a "Case ID" section, which is filled in with a hand-written number: 272D-BA-3065729.

According to multiple officials, and the FBI's website, "272" is the bureau's classification for money laundering, while "272D" refers to "Money Laundering, Unknown SUA [Specified Unlawful Activity]"White Collar Crime Program," according to FBI documents. One government official described "272D" as "transnational or blanket."

"BA" indicates the case was opened in the FBI's Baltimore field office, sources said.

#48 | Posted by homerj at 2020-10-22 08:31 AM | Reply

272 money laundering

#49 | Posted by homerj at 2020-10-22 08:32 AM | Reply

Tony Bobulinski, who was listed as the recipient of an email published by the New York Post that appeared to detail a business arrangement involving a Chinese company and members of the Biden family, has confirmed that the email is "genuine" and provided more information regarding the Bidens' role in the deal.

#50 | Posted by homerj at 2020-10-22 09:29 AM | Reply

272 money laundering

#49 | POSTED BY HOMERJ

Since it didn't happen all your gibberish is just that.

Gibberish.

Gobbledygook.

Why respond to gobbledygook?

I hope Trumpy uses this angle of attack in the debate

And if Trumpy opens that demonic door I hope Biden jumps right in and then goes after Ivanka in return. We have the documents and the chain of custody for Trumpy's and his family's, especially Ivanka's crimes.

But he won't. Biden is too damn nice to the Donald in my humble opinion.

#51 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-10-22 09:39 AM | Reply

" Biden is too damn nice to the Donald in my humble opinion.
#51 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY"

Joe has been practicing his attack voice but it comes off nasily and whiney.
His outrage face looks pinched and confused.
Can't blame him for not trying.

#52 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-10-22 10:34 AM | Reply

#48 | POSTED BY HOMERJ

You understand they are referring to the Subpoena being Authentic, not the Emails or Laptop, right?

And the 272 designation is a designation from the investigation requesting the subpoena.

But let's put this in perspective:

Hunter Biden, living in California, drops off a broken laptop containing proof of criminal activity and a sex tape to a Delaware computer repair shop he doesn't know and that happens to be run by a hard core Trump supporter. The owner can't positively identify Hunter Biden as the person who dropped it off and has changed his story repeatedly about who contacted who with law enforcement and the Trump campagin. The owner admits to illegally breaking into the laptop to look through its contents. One of the key emails is a PDF copy of an email rather than the email itself despite the shop owner, Trump campaign and New York Post having access to the laptop. The laptop allegedly contains an email thanking Hunter for introducing a Board Member of Burisma to Biden even though no record of such a meeting exists and no one from Burisma has ever said they met Biden. The shop owner connects with Steve Bannon, who is under criminal charges, and Rudy leaks the story. Fox News wouldn't touch it and only the New York Post would run it. The Trump Campaign and shop owner refused to turn over the laptop to anyone else and a subpoena had to be obtained to get the laptop.

And it gets better:
1. There is no evidence in the laptop that Biden did Burisma any favors. (But the Right Wing is pretending there is)
2. Russia has a history of hacking and releasing Democratic emails to help Trump. (Could there have been a hack of Biden's actual computers and then the data was transferred to the laptop?)
3. There is strong history of the Trump campaign and Russia pushing doctored documents.
4. There is no evidence anywhere of Biden helping Burisma. The firing of the prosecutor has been debunked repeatedly. It's been proven that the firing of Viktor Shokin was both internationally supported, including by Republicans here in the US, and would likely lead to created scrutiny of Burisma. Shoken wasn't even investigating Burisma at the time of the firing.
5. Lastly, Rudy Giuliani has gone from "Biden is guilty of wrongdoing" to "even if the premise of the Post story is false, the American people deserve to see the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop."

#53 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-10-22 12:23 PM | Reply

#48 See my post #28 for other possible interpretations of the investigation:

"The FBI's handling of John Paul Mac Isaac indicates he is a target of the investigation, rather than a witness. Mac Isaac stated that he met with the FBI once or twice, then the FBI stopped talking to him..."

#54 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-22 12:41 PM | Reply

Here's a direct link to the thread I referenced above, which is written by a Fox News reporter:

Jacqui Heinrich @JacquiHeinrich

THREAD: reposted for absolute clarity.

FBI indicates it IS investigating POSSIBILITY of foreign interference on Hunter Biden laptop: "nothing to add" to Ratcliffe's claim that it's NOT Russian disinfo, adding if actionable intel develops, FBI *may* inform Homeland Security Cmte

Democratic official with knowledge of intelligence committee discussions tells me:

The FBI will not confirm exactly what they are investigating " adding that this may relate to the ongoing investigation around Rudy Giuliani that has been recently reported...

...However, members of the intelligence committee have learned that the FBI is indeed investigating the provenance of the emails and whether it is part of a foreign disinformation operation " which the FBI would investigate whether or not the emails are real...


You can read the rest here:
twitter.com

#55 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-10-22 12:44 PM | Reply

Here is Hunter signature on the reciept for the Deleware laptop with the e-mails and kiddie porn on it: duckduckgo.com

It also has his cell phone number and e-mail on it.

#56 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2020-10-22 03:38 PM | Reply

#56 | Posted by HeliumRat

In other words, a professional Russian intelligence hit.

#57 | Posted by Zed at 2020-10-22 03:42 PM | Reply

#56 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

Why hasn't Hunter Biden been arrested? Why hasn't the shop owner been arrested for replicating and disseminating CP? Why hasn't Rudy tried to make this a bigger deal sooner that would have, ideally, kept Hunter Biden from victimizing more children?

Why is Hunter Biden's connection to this election more important than saving a child from rape?

WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER THESE VERY BASIC QUESIONS?!?!

#58 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-10-22 04:04 PM | Reply

#55 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY

There's more substance in that article that would provide a clue to the answers in #58 than anything HRAT has provided. Full stop.

#59 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-10-22 04:06 PM | Reply

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