NY Post Agitprop

Rudy Giuliani and a hack tabloid are trying to revive the Burisma story.

The New York Post has published an ostensible expose by Emma-Jo Morris and Gabrielle Fonrouge headlined “Emails reveal how Hunter Biden tried to cash in big on behalf of family with Chinese firm.” The gist:

Hunter Biden pursued lucrative deals involving China’s largest private energy company — including one that he said would be “interesting for me and my family,” emails obtained by The Post show.

One email sent to Biden on May 13, 2017, with the subject line “Expectations,” included details of “remuneration packages” for six people involved in an unspecified business venture.

Biden was identified as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,” an apparent reference to the former Shanghai-based conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co.

His pay was pegged at “850” and the email also noted that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.”

In addition, the email outlined a “provisional agreement” under which 80 percent of the “equity,” or shares in the new company, would be split equally among four people whose initials correspond to the sender and three recipients, with “H” apparently referring to Biden.

The story is almost universally being received as Russian propaganda or

Glenn Kessler of WaPo (“Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: An explainer“):

How do we know the email is authentic?

We do not. The New York Post published PDF printouts of several emails allegedly taken from the laptop, but for the “smoking-gun” email, it shows only a photo made the day before the story was posted, according to Thomas Rid, the author of “Active Measures,” a book on disinformation. “There is no header information, no metadata.” The Washington Post has not been able to independently verify or authenticate these emails, as requests to make the laptop hard drive available for inspection have not been granted. The New York Post said it obtained the material from former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, a personal lawyer to President Trump.

There also is no indication that Hunter Biden replied to the email.

Moreover, another alleged email published by the New York Post contradicts the notion that Hunter Biden could influence his father. “What he will do and say is out of our hands,” Hunter Biden wrote in an email that the New York Post said was sent April 13, 2014.

Skimming through the article myself, I found it odd that there were no copies of Biden replies; one-sided conversations just aren’t very interesting. And, frankly, that all of this somehow made it to Rudy Giuliani of all people is a serious red flag.

Are there errors in the New York Post report?

separate article, about another email, claims that a public relations company that worked for Burisma was allowed to take part in a conference call about an upcoming visit by Joe Biden to Ukraine. But there was nothing secret about this call, and the transcript was released publicly and posted on the White House website.

More broadly, the New York Post repeats the falsehood, advanced by Trump, that the “elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.”

We have fact-checked this repeatedly. During President Barack Obama’s second term, Biden was in charge of the Ukraine portfolio, keeping in close touch with the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko. Biden’s brief was to sweet-talk and jawbone Poroshenko into making reforms that Ukraine’s Western benefactors wanted to see as part of Ukraine’s escape from Russia’s orbit. But the Americans saw an obstacle to reform in Viktor Shokin, the top Ukrainian prosecutor, whom the United States viewed as ineffective and beholden to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s corrupt oligarchs. In particular, Shokin had failed to pursue an investigation of the founder of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky.

Frankly, if I were trying to derail the Biden campaign with an October Surprise, I’d have avoided repeating repeatedly-debunked lies. And, for that matter, if I believed I had credible information, I’d have given it to the Times, the Post, or at least the Wall Street Journal rather than a tabloid. As it is, it seems to be doubling-down on Trump’s longterm strategy of trying to goose his own base rather than expand his support.

Why is this coming out now?

Good question. The FBI supposedly obtained the hard drive earlier this year from John MacIsaac, who said he owns the Wilmington Mac Shop.

MacIsaac told reporters on Wednesday that a MacBook laptop was dropped off at his shop in Wilmington, Del., in April 2019. MacIsaac, who said he was legally blind, said that he was almost certain that it was Hunter Biden who dropped off the computer. He said that he made several attempts to get in touch with Hunter Biden but the equipment was still in his hands 90 days after it had been left there, and he said that he became curious about what he’d seen.

He made a copy of the hard drive and gave it to Giuliani. This past weekend, Giuliani passed a copy to the New York Post. But presumably the laptop would have been of use to the year-long Senate investigation, which found no wrongdoing by Biden.

As Giuliani has sought to locate information about Hunter Biden and Ukraine, he has regularly interacted with a Ukrainian lawmaker who was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as being an “active Russian agent for over a decade” and was engaged in an influence operation to affect the 2020 election. Those interactions have given rise to fears that the emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign.

Way to bury your lede there, Glenn.

Defense One technology editor Patrick Tucker (“Anti-Biden Disinformation Decried by Disinfo Experts, Social-Media Giants“):

On Wednesday, cybersecurity professionals, disinformation experts, and lawmakers urged journalists to be careful in their coverage of a “bombshell” New York Post story aimed at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

[…]

The provenance of the emails themselves is, to put it mildly, dubious. The Post story states that they come from a water-damaged laptop that was “dropped off at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware in April 2019, according to the store’s owner.” The owner made a copy of the hard drive, turned the computer over to the FBI, but then inexplicably gave copies of his client’s files to Robert Costello, a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor-turned-Trump booster. The owner of the laptop never returned to retrieve it, according to the Post. 

Even if that remarkable series of events were true and the emails were real, they only suggest that Joe Biden may have agreed to meet one of Hunter Biden’s business partners. They don’t reveal actual wrongdoing.

The Post story also omits key details, including that Giuliani has acknowledged working closely with Andriy Derkach, a Kremlin ally sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for pushing disinformation intended to sway the 2020 election. It omits that the gas company in question was recently attacked by the same Russian, state-backed hacking team that stole emails from the Democratic National Committee in 2016. It does not mention recent intelligence community assessments that Russia is still attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election to the benefit of Donald Trump. 

Disinformation watchers on Wednesday were quick to point out the deeply problematic nature of the story and urge journalists and news outlets to be careful in how they covered it.

Peter Singer, a strategist at New America and the co-author of LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, a book about disinformation, tweeted: “as I read stories like this, it makes me reflect on what some in media (especially on security beat) have learned from 1) the experience of being an unintentional player in info ops and 2) the perils of #bothsides equivalence.”

Kyle Cheney, a congressional reporter for Politicotweeted, “The ‘smoking gun’ email in the NY Post story — even if it is authentic, given the massive red flags — doesn’t actually say what the story says it does.”

Again, stipulating that the suspect email is real, there’s literally nothing in it that says Joe Biden met with a Burisma adviser.

“The opportunity to meet,” may just as easily have meant Hunter promised a meeting in the future that may never have occurred.— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 14, 2020

Marc Ambinder, a security expert in residence with the University of Southern California Annenberg School, pointed out that that chain of events had all the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation operation.

– mysterious circumstances (which gin up conspiratorial thinking)
– deniability (witnesses can’t remember key facts about the chain of custody of the information)
– no metadata (can’t verify emails)
– a gun … with no smoke (would be too obvious)
– a willing media vector— Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) October 14, 2020

John Scott-Railton with the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project highlighted a thread on the subject by cybersecurity researcher Thomas Rid, author of Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation And Political Warfare.  “Every journalist should read this thread: Critical advice on vetting of questionable stories that involve emails,” said Railton. 

Rid’s thread picks apart the story and urges “journalists considering writing about this toxic story: don’t—unless you can independently verify more details. And even if you can verify something, acknowledge the possibility of disinformation up-front, especially against the backdrop of 2016. Not doing so is bad practice.”

While obviously more politically motivated than the others, Mother Jones DC Bureau chief David Corn makes a similar plea (“Giuliani and the New York Post Are Pushing Russian Disinformation. It’s a Big Test for the Media.“):

The story depicts this as a big scandal, and Guiliani tweeted, “Much more to come.” 

But the key point of the article was predicated on false information that Giuliani has been spreading for a long time—and that appears to be linked to a Russian disinformation operation that the Post neglected to note in its article. That is, the Post piece, based on an unproven smear, is in sync with Moscow’s ongoing effort to influence the 2020 election to help President Donald Trump retain power. (The FBI and other parts of the US intelligence community have stated that Vladimir Putin is once again attacking the US political system to boost Trump.) And this story presents a challenge to the American media: how to report on an orchestrated campaign to affect the election that relies on disinformation, salacious and sensational material, and the revival of allegations that have already been debunked. 

The bad faith animating the Post story is demonstrated by its open embrace—in the first sentence—of a demonstrably false narrative and by its failure to report Giuliani’s association with a Russian intelligence agent who the Department of Treasury has accused of interfering in the 2020 election. 

Katie Glueck, Michael S. Schmidt and Mike Isaac of the New York Times (“Allegation on Biden Prompts Pushback From Social Media Companies“) add:

Hours after the Post published its article, Facebook said on Wednesday that it had decided to limit the distribution of the story on its platform so it could fact-check the claims. Twitter said it was blocking the article because it included people’s personal phone numbers and email addresses, which violated their privacy rules, and because the article violated their policy on hacked materials.

Facebook’s and Twitter’s actions immediately provoked strong reactions from Republicans that the social media platforms were censoring them, an outcry that grew louder later on Wednesday when the Trump campaign said the personal account of the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, had been locked because she had posted the New York Post story. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a staunch Trump ally, called Twitter’s action “despicable” and termed it “the real election interference.”

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been under fire from Mr. Trump and other Republicans for years for allegedly censoring their views. The companies, located in liberal Silicon Valley, have denied those claims.

The irony is that Facebook has long frustrated critics by allowing Russian- and Trumpist propaganda to spread largely unchecked and is therefore the open social media platform of choice for Trump supporters. Yet any act of minimal responsibility is naturally used as evidence that it’s a leftist cabal.

Even aside from the sheer hackishness of this effort, it’s hard to see how it does much damage. Absent serious evidence that Joe Biden leveraged the Vice Presidency to enrich the family, which no one—including a spirited investigation by a Republican-led United States Senate with all the investigatory powers of the federal government—has found, it’s hard to see where this all goes. And, frankly, given that Trump has openly leveraged the Presidency for four years to enrich his family, it wouldn’t change my vote even then.

FILED UNDER: Joe Biden, Media, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Lounsbury says:

    What is most alarming in all this is the degree to which one political party – not the one I would have expected – has so willingly prostituted itself for the benefit of a hostile power, Russia, and despite ample evidence of ongoing Russian intelligence service activity.

    This is truly disturbing for which there is no good excuse.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    trump associates with nothing but the best and the brightest people, doesn’t he?

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  3. An Interested Party says:

    Once again, we see the two characteristics that flow through everything Trump and his henchmen do–total projection and amateurish incompetence, it really is quite pathetic…who could have guessed that after all these years and after failed presidential campaigns in the past, Biden picked the perfect year and the perfect president to run against in 2020…

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  4. CSK says:

    The irony of the comment by @OzarkHillbilly: is underscored by the comment of @An Interested Party:.

    At this point, what competent people would associates themselves with Donald Trump?

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  5. Kathy says:

    Geez! You don’t trust Russian misinformation, you don’t trust Giuliani’s misinformation, you don’t trust Trump’s misinformation. Whose misinformation do you want?

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  6. Teve says:

    MacIsaac, who said he was legally blind, said that he was almost certain that it was Hunter Biden who dropped off the computer.

    Okay that’s just comedy.

    He said that he made several attempts to get in touch with Hunter Biden but the equipment was still in his hands 90 days after it had been left there, and he said that he became curious about what he’d seen.

    He made a copy of the hard drive and gave it to Giuliani.

    None of that, not one detail, makes a lick of sense.

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  7. Barry says:

    @Lounsbury: “…has so willingly prostituted itself for the benefit of a hostile power, Russia, and despite ample evidence of ongoing Russian intelligence service activity. ”

    Remember, Russia is now a white, right-wing kleptocratic ethnostate. The Right in the USA is keenly aware of that, and loves it.

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  8. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: @

    who could have guessed that after all these years and after failed presidential campaigns in the past, Biden picked the perfect year and the perfect president to run against in 2020…

    I saw a talk recently by a venture capitalist who said that he really did a lot of research into why some of his companies succeeded and some of them failed, and after examining dozens of companies on multiple metrics, like talent, funding, etc., what he’d come to realize was that the most important variable in a company’s success is simply timing. If you have a good product but it’s too early, it fails, if it’s too late, it fails, but the most successful new businesses have the right product at exactly the right time.

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  9. Teve says:

    @Barry:

    Russia is now a white, right-wing kleptocratic ethnostate.

    don’t forget anti-gay. Just a few years ago there were right wingers talking about moving to Russia for that shit.

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  10. JKB says:

    More interesting is whether the NY Post story would have been more than a flash in the pan if Twitter and Facebook hadn’t created martyrs of quite a few who forwarded a published news story by suspending or cancelling their accounts.

    Now, if Joe Biden isn’t asked about the allegations in tonights town hall, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    And…Putin is allegedly a Christian.

    A Christian strongman who hates gays. What could be better?

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  12. JohnMcC says:

    Just FYI: Politico reports that the twitter account of the Trump Campaign has been ‘locked down’ because of this ugly lie. Apparently it triggered their policy on ‘rules against posting private information’.

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  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    @JKB:

    I suppose that could be true. I also suppose then that it’s a pretty stupid play by Trump to schedule a dueling town hall, ensuring that any coverage of a non-answer by Joe is superseded by 90 minutes of Trump buffoonery

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  14. @JKB:

    martyrs

    Dare I say, LOL!

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  15. Neil Hudelson says:

    @JohnMcC:

    I believe Kayleigh McEnany’s account was suspended for spreading disinformation.

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Lounsbury: You’re well educated, well informed, worldly wise, and obviously intelligent. I can’t for the life of me see why you’re surprised by this Republican corruption.

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  17. inhumans99 says:

    I hope folks do not get tired of me doing this but I want to point out that in 2016 this type of story comes out (and the FBI even held a press conference at the time) and folks like Kevin Drum immediately lost their sheet…and were just livid that the FBI handed the Presidency to Trump.

    Fast forward 4 years and other than a one day top of page mention at sites like Politico most news sources (including FB and Twitter) treated this story with a healthy dose of skepticism (to be fair, including Politico who did not trust the story enough to take it at 100% of face value). In fact, the top story at Politico this morning is a story about how desperate Trump is becoming to get re-elected. And as mentioned a townhall is coming up…this “story” will be old news before the weekend is officially upon us.

    The best JKB can do is whine that that sites did not do a better job amplifying the story (hint JKY, FB and Twitter do not work for Giuliani, it is literally not their job to promote his stories that are dubiously sourced to begin with).

    Another story on Politico, Wall Street is straight up preparing for a President Biden.

    Giuliani can keep dropping fake news all he wants until the election, the publics first impression is that he has no credibility or scruples and that opinion of him will not change as he drips out more “smoking gun” stories.

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  18. Scott says:

    Back when the Soviet Union used to try to influence the US, the terms “useful idiots” and “fellow travelers” were use to describe the people they used to spread propaganda.

    We are seeing it again. The trouble is that we can’t tell who is who. Clearly Trump and Giuilani are fellow travelers in knowingly spreading disinformation. What are the Post reporters? Or cynical political hacks like Hawley and Cruz?

    It really is a disgusting, destructive time in our country.

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  19. JKB says:

    @inhumans99: The best JKB can do is whine that that sites did not do a better job amplifying the story

    And yet, Facebook and Twitter’s actions did amplify the story. Not directly, but by their actions becoming the story, the underlying story is amplified. I should have put “martyrs” in quotations as the story is the mean-old social media giants are suppressing people.

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  20. KM says:

    The provenance of the emails themselves is, to put it mildly, dubious. The Post story states that they come from a water-damaged laptop that was “dropped off at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware in April 2019, according to the store’s owner.”

    It’s so 2020 that the modern equivalent of “fell off the back of the truck” junk used by scammers is being pushed on voters by a snakeoil salesman POTUS. Yeah we totally found this old damaged thing by a legally blind guy that swears to God it was Biden’s kid! Look, it got a sticker and everything – total proof of ownership and wrongdoing! Ignore the iffy circumstances and questions of its existences and glory in the deal of finally finding what you want – proof of evil Lib wrongdoing and MAGA validation!! Just for the low, low price of your vote!

    The truly sad part is this crap WORKS on some people. The good news is they’re already avowed Trumpkins so it won’t change any minds.

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  21. Jen says:

    @JKB:

    Now, if Joe Biden isn’t asked about the allegations in tonights town hall, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

    These “allegations” fell apart almost immediately. It’s garbage–the email was forged, the computer guy is bonkers and can’t keep his story straight, and it’s all come crashing down.

    If Biden is asked about this in tonight’s town hall, it damn well better be along the lines of “what will you do to counter the Russian propaganda machine that is determined to undermine US elections?” That’s literally the only thing at issue here.

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  22. inhumans99 says:

    @JKB:

    Just stop dude, you are trying too hard. Admit it, you are angry that they did not amplify this “story” 1000X over so everyone was focused on it, FB and Twitter are big boys and can handle that they became the story in that folks like yourself are mad that they suppressed a clear case of Russian Propaganda being used to try and discredit Biden.

    Keep in mind JKB that Republicans have already been to this well and were disappointed with what their investigation revealed (no actionable info on which to justify locking up or indicting Trump’s political enemies, and I am talking about the big fish he wanted arrested, Biden, Obama, etc..) and for the most part have decided to move on.

    Heck, Barr even buried an investigation that he pushed for in the first place!

    It is a not a good look for the U.S. when the top story at sites like Politico are blaring to the world that our President is desperate.

    I feel like you are a bit adrift and unsure what to do with yourself since folks like Trump, Fox News, and OANN are not giving you clear marching orders at this moment so you are running around looking for something to do when you should just take the time now to sit back in a nice comfy chair and catch up on some shows via Netflix, Prime Video, etc..

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    No one is buying the story because it comes from a pathological liar.

    And it doesn’t matter anyway. Your Dear Leader is a criminal, head a crime family, a tax cheat, a money-launderer, likely a rapist, and certainly a traitor to this country, as are you. Hunter Biden could have been strangling kittens in Ukraine and no one outside Cult45 would give a rat’s ass because there is nothing he could conceivably do that is worse than what Trump has done.

    You’re going to down to massive, historical, shattering defeat. We’re all going to dance on your political grave.

    So, you need to be ready. I’d advise putting on lots of tactical gear – the more straps and zippers the better. Camouflage outfits are all the rage because they do such a good job of concealing you in downtown Portland. Can barely even make you guys out the camo is so effective.

    Then, you know what comes next: guns. Lots and lots of guns. Also a big beard if you can grow it. Because if you wear your special outfit (with boots, natch) and carry your guns we will all know that you’re a big, brave, macho, masculine, belligerent and extra-manly man of manly manliness. . . who can’t walk down the street without a gun.

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  24. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party:

    who could have guessed that after all these years and after failed presidential campaigns in the past, Biden picked the perfect year and the perfect president to run against in 2020…

    This is why you don’t pick individual stocks, you put your money in index funds. Nobody can predict shit.

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  25. Gustopher says:

    @JKB:

    And yet, Facebook and Twitter’s actions did amplify the story. Not directly, but by their actions becoming the story, the underlying story is amplified

    And the story becomes “right wing pushing falsehoods so transparent that even Facebook is banning them.” Very, very few people outside the right-wing bubble are going to assume that Facebook is a liberal plot doing this because they are liberal.

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  26. Kathy says:

    Remember the Bush National Guard memo.

    It’s about as bad a forgery, and even worse as a bald-faced lie.

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  27. Teve says:

    @Jen: frequently it occurs to me to type something, only to scroll down and discover you’ve already typed it.

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  28. wr says:

    @Jen: ” It’s garbage–the email was forged, the computer guy is bonkers and can’t keep his story straight, and it’s all come crashing down.”

    I don’t know what your problem is. It’s a well-known fact that if you own a computer-repair store and a customer drops off a laptop for repair while neglecting to accompany it with any identifying information, then after three months you are required by law to check its email server and forward everything you find there to the FBI. Maybe also sending it to Giuliani seems a bit odd, but he is America’s mayor.

    Laugh if you will, but JKB wants you to believe that he believes it.

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  29. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: You can add Rod Dreher to one of the “useful idiots”.

    I thought that speaking lies about your neighbour was one of the 10 commandments?

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  30. JohnSF says:

    @JKB:

    “…if Joe Biden isn’t asked about the allegations … it will stick out.”

    It’s only likely to “stick out” to those pumped up about the initial story in the fisrt place.
    Such people are not that likely to be persuadable voters.

    More likely no one will ask because none of the questioners cares.

    However, if it does come up, it’s a sitter for Biden to hit.

    Either the question will focus on the allegations, which can easily be dealt with.
    “The company was not under investigation, the absentee owner was”; can then pivot into his anti-corruption efforts, put a few blows in on Trump and Giuliani re. dealings with Russians and oligarchs etc., pivot back to “future support for friends and allies, fighting corruption at home and abroad…” and so on.

    Alternatively, it (or a follow up) may focus on media “suppression”: even better.
    Address the problem of “fake news” with examples of some Trump/Trump supporter ludicrous falsehoods (combine condemnation, contempt and comedy); perhaps tag Russian and other propaganda and nes manipulation “sowing discord” vs. Biden championing reasonableness etc etc.

    Thinking about it, if I was Team Biden I might be working to plant the question!

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  31. Teve says:

    @green_footballs

    Hilarious that Republicans and the right wing media are still trying to push that ludicrous Steve Bannon/Rudy Giuliani hit job. It was obviously supposed to be their big October Surprise, but it was just another October Faceplant.

    This ridiculous, obviously fraudulent story was coordinated at the highest levels of the GOP. It’s a corrupt clown show.

    They’re so brainwashed by their own stupid propaganda they actually thought people would believe this horseshit.

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  32. Moosebreath says:

    @grumpy realist:

    “You can add Rod Dreher to one of the “useful idiots”.

    I thought that speaking lies about your neighbour was one of the 10 commandments?”

    Dreher has a new book out called “Live Not By Lies”. He forgot to add the line “Unless It Helps Your Candidate”.

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  33. ptfe says:

    It really is the full incompetent buffoonery of Jacob Wohl blown up proportionally to the level of casual renown of Rudy Giuliani coated in the fetid sewage of a desperate near-election ploy.

    This is a party that thinks Project Veritas is producing reputable films exposing great crimes of the horrible left. This is a party that thinks antifa soldiers are being flown to distant cities on Soros’ dime. This is a party that thinks Dems are busing non-voters (probably *scoff* immigrants) around to steal elections, presumably on Soros’ nickel because he’s already spent his dime but also he’s got infinite money to pay people to do things like that. This is a party that believes a democratic election of a president would constitute “totalitarianism” because not enough land was represented.

    There’s nothing sane here. It would be far sadder if Twitter and FB hadn’t caught it in Hour 3 and instead waited a day: the inevitable descent into Q-Anon canon is already happening, and the line between Republican “thought” and conspiracy theories is about as robust as a watercolor marker on a plastic bottle. At least some people (like, perhaps, JKB) will be left sputtering about the indignity of having fellow travelers silenced rather than about how unfair it is that we aren’t all demanding an immediate investigation into these shenanigans.

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  34. al Ameda says:

    @Barry:

    Remember, Russia is now a white, right-wing kleptocratic ethnostate. The Right in the USA is keenly aware of that, and loves it.

    What a coincidence, in 2017 America became ‘a white, right-wing kleptocratic ethnostate’

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  35. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    It was obviously supposed to be their big October Surprise, but it was just another October Faceplant.

    Melania has given over a large section of the Rose Garden to new beds of October Faceplant.

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  36. An Interested Party says:

    @Kathy: I was thinking of that same thing earlier…these people who were so outraged over Memogate probably can’t see the irony of also being mad at Facebook and Twitter for not allowing links to this NY Post garbage…meanwhile, looks like the evil owner of the NY Post is hedging his bets

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  37. Kathy says:

    @An Interested Party:

    First law of American Politics: it’s wrong only when the other party does it.

    I recall Dan Rather shamefully trie to defend the fake memos as “fake but accurate.” I don’t recall whether the Democratic Party at large, or John Kerry in particular, made much about them after they were exposed as fakes.

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  38. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: I use to follow him back in the BeliefNet days. He had an interesting perspective. He’s just gone off the deep end. I just rarely know what he is banging on about anymore.

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  39. Lounsbury says:

    @gVOR08: I am also not a Left partisan and regardless of partisan knee-jerking around other party corruption, there is a ast difference between usual political games and a political party actively allowing itself to be used by a hostile state’s intelligence service.

    The Rubes may not know better, as JKB represents the Useful Idiots fraction, but the senior party leadership certainly does.

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  40. Kathy says:

    In related news, the Senate will subpoena Twitter’s CEO, because he’s been mean to the NY Post.

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  41. MarkedMan says:

    @ptfe:

    This is a party that thinks

    Not to dump on you, but you’ve got it wrong from the very start….

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  42. ptfe says:

    @MarkedMan: Brutal.

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  43. dmhlt says:

    OK, Rudy – you convinced me.
    I will NOT be voting for Hunter Biden on November 3rd.
    GO JOE!

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  44. Matt says:

    @wr: I do laptop, desktop and electronic repair as a side business. I don’t own a brick and mortar repair business but I do keep detailed records involving every electronic device I work on. This information includes the full name and contact information of the owner. Under the owner’s information I keep identifying information on the components or machine I worked on and what was done. This way if someone comes back in a month or two I can tell them the exact who what when if requested. I follow full “procedures” even if I’m only working on one machine for a friend. Meanwhile the right wingers want everyone to believe that the computer repair store owner keeps no such records…. I had a full on picard style double face palm when I read the part where the owner said he was pretty sure it was Hunter Biden’s laptop…

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  45. Mikey says:

    This seems…relevant:

    White House was warned Giuliani was target of Russian intelligence operation to feed misinformation to Trump

    U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter.

    The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.

    The warnings to the White House, which have not previously been reported, led national security adviser Robert O’Brien to caution Trump in a private conversation that any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, one of the former officials said.

    The message was, “Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” this person said.

    Of course, anyone with two functioning synapses in their head who’s been paying any attention the last couple years probably figured this out already, but it’s nice to have confirmation.

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  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: When told Russia was feeding misinformation to Giuliani, Trump probably responded, “Good.”

    Giuliani’s daughter was just on Rachel’s show, following up her piece in Vanity Fair begging people to vote for Biden.

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  47. keef says:
  48. keef says:
  49. mattbernius says:

    Desperate man who allows this website to live rent free in his mind screams links from crank blogs into the nothingness as he sadly remembers a time when he was promised he would get sick from “all the winning” and suddenly realized that this is what “sick” looks like.

    Glad to see you can’t quit us pookums! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next to own us!

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