Secretary of State Antony Blinken denies being the "impetus" behind an infamous letter casting the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation.
What is the background?
Just weeks before the 2020 election, the New York Post revealed it had obtained a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden.
The media and former national security experts immediately rushed to downplay the laptop as yet another attempt by Russian actors to meddle in a presidential election. Days after the laptop story broke, Politico reported the laptop story is "Russian disinfo" based upon a letter that more than 50 national security experts had signed.
The New York Post reported that former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell recently testified under oath that Blinken — who at the time was a foreign affairs adviser to Biden's campaign — was, according to the House Judiciary Committee, "the impetus" behind the letter.
How did Blinken respond?
In an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday, Blinken denied any involvement in the creation of the letter.
"With regard to that letter, I didn't — wasn't my idea, didn't ask for it, didn't solicit it. And I think the testimony that the former deputy director of the CIA, Mike Morell, put forward confirms that," Blinken said.
In reality, his response puts him at direct odds with Morell.
While Morell has not spoken publicly about his testimony, House Republicans allege that Morell testified that Blinken contacted him after the laptop story broke and planted the seed that it was a Russian disinformation campaign. Morell subsequently solicited signatures for the infamous letter.
Meanwhile, in his interview with Fox News, Blinken refused to acknowledge that the laptop is not Russian disinformation.
"I'm not engaging in politics," Blinken said. "I've got a lot on my agenda, some things that we've just talked about — trying to help the Ukrainians in the Russian aggression against them, engaging with allies and partners around the world in dealing with some of the challenges posed by China. We have a situation now in Sudan that’s fully occupied my time, so that's where my focus is."
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