The infamous letter used to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story was meant to give Joe Biden's campaign a "talking point" in a debate with then-President Donald Trump.
After the New York Post broke news of the laptop, Mike Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA, sent intelligence officials a "recruitment email," the Washington Examiner reported, soliciting their endorsement of a letter that suggested the laptop story was Russian disinformation. While signatories of the letter now claim they were not explicitly denouncing the laptop as Russian "disinformation," Politico, which broke news of the letter, reported at the time that the laptop story is "Russian disinfo" based upon the letter.
On Oct. 18, 2020, one day before Politico broke news of the letter, Morell sent an email requesting endorsements for the letter, which he co-authored with former senior CIA operations officer Marc Polymeropoulos.
The email explained that both men believed the laptop story was another Russian attempt to meddle in the presidential election and argued that Trump was planning to use the laptop story as ammunition against Biden at their next debate.
"We want to give the VP a talking point to use in response," Morell wrote in the email, according to the Examiner.
Did it work?
Trump inevitably mentioned the laptop at the next debate after the story broke, describing it as the "laptop from hell." Biden then seized the opportunity to push the Russian disinformation talking point.
"There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he's accusing me of is a Russian plant. They have said that this has all the characteristics — five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he's saying is a bunch of garbage," Biden said. "Nobody believes it except him and his good friend, Rudy Giuliani."
What is the significance?
News of the email is significant because Morell allegedly testified under oath last month that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who at the time served as a senior adviser to Biden's campaign, was the impetus behind the letter.
Blinken, however, has denied any involvement in 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 told Fox News.
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