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Biden appoints MSNBC pundit, Hunter laptop dismissing ex-intel officer to White House intel board

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks after his recovery from COVID-19 in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 29, 2022

An MSNBC pundit and former U.S. intelligence official who signed a group letter casting doubt on an alleged incriminating laptop belonging to Hunter Biden has taken a new job on President Joe Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board.

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On Friday, the White House announced the president’s appointment of Jeremy Bash to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. Bash previously served in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Department of Defense and works as a commentator for NBC and MSNBC.

Bash joined 50 other former intelligence officers who signed onto a letter in October of 2020 that said reporting days earlier from the New York Post about a laptop appearing to belong to Joe Biden’s son Hunter “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The Washington Examiner first reported on Bash’s connection to the letter by former U.S. intelligence officials.

The New York Post’s reporting added to allegations that the older Biden knew about his son’s foreign business dealings. Included in the New York Post’s reporting was an email that suggested Hunter Biden introduced his father to Vadym Pozharskyi, an advisor for the Ukrainian gas company Hunter worked for, Burisma Holdings. Burisma gained some public attention amid allegations then-Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian authorities in 2016 to fire a prosecutor who had been investigating the gas company.

In a 2018 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Biden described visiting Ukraine in 2016 and telling Ukrainian officials he would not release a $1 billion loan guarantee for aid to the country “if the prosecutor is not fired.”

“Well son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden said in the 2018 video. “And they put in place someone who was solid.”

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives launched an impeachment in 2019 against then President Donald Trump after he discussed the Ukrainian prosecutor’s firing with current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Trump was impeached in the House but found not-guilty in the Senate during the impeachment trial.

During an October 2020 presidential debate, when Trump brought up the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop, Joe Biden referred to the letter by the 51 former U.S. intelligence officials and called the laptop story “garbage” and part of a “Russian plan.”

Though the letter from the 51 former intelligence officials never directly claimed the laptop reporting was Russian disinformation, the officials did say “our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” Politico was also among the first to report on the letter, in an article misleadingly titled “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”

Bash — who listed himself on the letter as a former chief of staff for the CIA and DoD and as a former chief counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence — cast further doubts about the New York Post’s reporting on the laptop in an Oct. 19, 2020 interview with MSNBC.

“This looks like Russian intelligence. This walks like Russian intelligence. This talks like Russian intelligence,” Bash said.

Bash described the laptop materials reported by the New York Post as “mysteriously created” and said they were “probably hacked through a Russian intelligence operation.”

In another interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Maddow asked Bash if Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani may be legally liable for sharing the laptop information.

“At a minimum, it’s conspiracy to engage in computer crimes and hacking in violation of criminal laws,” Bash said. “It’s also potentially conspiracy to engage in election interference.”

“Rudy Giuliani wasn’t just merely fed this intelligence, he wasn’t just passively receiving it,” Bash told Maddow. “He ordered it off the menu. He demanded it, he banged his hand on the table and said ‘give me that dirt on Joe Biden.'”

Despite the letter casting doubts on the New York Post’s laptop reporting, Information found on the laptop has since been authenticated by the New York Times and Washington Post.

Cyber forensics expert and former Secret Service agent Konstantinos Dimitrelos also told the Washington Examiner “there is a 100 percent certainty that Robert Hunter Biden was the only person responsible for the activity on this hard drive” associated with the laptop obtained by the New York Post.

“The hard drive is authentic,” Dimitrelos added.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.