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Video goes viral of Democrats, media members doubting Hunter Biden laptop

Media pundits, intelligence officials and several prominent Democrats claimed the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation in 2020 ahead of the election.

Video showing members of the media, intelligence officials, and prominent Democrats calling the Hunter Biden laptop story "Russian disinformation" went viral on Wednesday after an FBI official confirmed the laptop was real and belonged to the president's son during his Delaware criminal trial. 

The viral video featured former Chief of State at the CIA and Department of Defense, Jeremy Bash, who told MSNBC at the time that it "looked like Russian intelligence" and "walked like Russian intelligence."

"This effort by Rudy Giuliani and the New York Post and Steve Bannon to cook up supposed dirt on Joe Biden looks like a classic, Russian playbook disinformation campaign," Bash said. 

"So when the intelligence committee goes in and warns Donald Trump that Rudy Giuliani is being worked over by Russian intelligence, and Rudy Giuliani suddenly comes forward with these mysteriously created emails, probably hacked through a Russian intelligence operations, we have to acknowledge the fact that the President of the United States is supporting, is condoning, is welcoming a Russian intelligence operation in 2020," he added 


"This is collusion in plain sight," he continued. 

"There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he's accusing me of is a Russian plant," President Biden said of the laptop during a 2020 debate with Donald Trump, referring to a story Politico published at the time on the letter signed by members of the intelligence community.

"Five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he's saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except his good friend Rudy Giuliani," the president continued.

The New York Post first reported the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop in 2020, roughly a month before the presidential election. The story was widely dismissed as Twitter and Facebook limited user ability to share the story. 

Eric O'Neill, a security strategist, told CBS News at the time that it looked like a "classic disinformation campaign," and said the Russians were likely the ones behind the laptop, according to the video of several intel officials and liberal media hosts.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, one of the 50 who signed the letter, said at the time that it did "bear the hallmarks of Russian disinformation." 

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., responding to NBC's Hallie Jackson, who said the Post's story at the time was "highly questionable" and "dubiously sourced," argued that Rudy Giuliani was a "vehicle for Russian disinformation," and suggested anyone claiming there was no evidence of it didn't make any sense. 

MSNBC host Ari Melber conceded that the network wasn't covering the laptop because of "journalistic reasons," and said they would never air dubious misinformation. 


Several media pundits pushed a report by the Washington Post that claimed Russians were feeding Giuliani misinformation to pass on to Trump. 

CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Alex Marquardt said at the time the laptop was likely part of Russia's latest interference in the U.S. election. 

"We do know it is a very active Russian campaign," Marquardt said, citing U.S. intelligence officials. 

James Clapper, a former Director of National Intelligence, said on CNN at the time that the laptop was "classic, textbook Soviet, Russian tradecraft at work." 

"The Russians have analyzed the target, they understand that the president and his enablers crave dirt on Vice President Biden, whether its real or contrived, it doesn't matter to them. And so all of a sudden, two and a half weeks before the election, this laptop appears, somehow, and the emails without any metadata, it's all very curious," he said.


Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said during an interview with CNN at the time that it was clear Trump and the Kremlin were behind Hunter Biden's laptop. 

"The Kremlin has an obvious interest in denigrating Joe Biden, they want Donald Trump to win, they recognize he's a weak president," Schiff said. "Clearly they want to help him, so they want to denigrate the vice president, the intelligence community has made that abundantly clear." 

He also called the laptop story "Kremlin propaganda."

"We start this hour with the tale of international espionage connected to a close confidante of the President of the United States," MSNBC's Ali Velshi said on Oct. 17, 2020. "The president [Donald Trump] was reportedly warned that his personal attorney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was the target of a Russian intelligence operation, a story that is unraveling to reveal allegations of disinformation, dirty tricks and a federal probe over Russian efforts to disparage Joe Biden."

Former Biden campaign advisor Symone Sanders-Townsend, who now hosts a weekend show on MSNBC, appeared on the network in 2020 and bluntly stated that any attempts by then-President Trump to amplify the story would be viewed as "Russian misinformation."

Fox News' Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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