(Headline USA) Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper blasted Politico this week, accusing the publication of “deliberately” distorting a letter dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop story that he and dozens of other intelligence officials signed.
The headline of Politico’s piece about the letter, which was published just weeks before the 2020 election, read, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”
“There was message distortion,” Clapper told the Washington Post on Monday. “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.”
Clapper was one of 50 intelligence officials who signed the letter, in which they claimed they were deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a “significant role” in the Hunter Biden laptop story.
“If we are right,” they said, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election.”
Clapper isn’t the only intelligence official trying to walk back the letter’s baseless accusations. Another signer, former deputy director of National Intelligence Thomas Fingar, told the Post that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the intentions of the letter were “misconstrued.”
“No one who has spent time in Washington should be surprised that journalists and politicians willfully or unintentionally misconstrue oral or written statements,” Fingar said. “The statement we signed was carefully written to minimize the likelihood that what was said would be misconstrued, and to provide a clear written record that could be used to identify and disprove distortions.”
Each of the intelligence officials who signed the letter has been put on notice by congressional Republicans that their role in the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story will be thoroughly investigated.
Earlier this month, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, warned Clapper and the others that they could face a subpoena if they refused to hand over documents related to “the inception, drafting, editing, signing, publishing, or promotion” of the Politico letter dismissing Biden’s laptop.