Fox News anchor Bret Baier repeatedly questioned one of the individuals who signed a letter suggesting the Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation,’ but the former intelligence official refused to apologize for taking part in the ruse.
In fact, the entire exchange is emblematic of the problem currently permeating the intel community – biased, cocky officials who, when backed into a corner, point to semantics and wording as they squirm their way out of any accountability.
Baier’s interview with former CIA officer David Priess is a legitimate embarrassment for intelligence officials everywhere.
Priess was one of over 50 intelligence officials who claimed just before the 2020 presidential election that a New York Post bombshell regarding the President’s son’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
David Priess, author of the book titled – I kid you not – “How to Get Rid of a President,” proceeded to weasel his way through the interview by pointing to another section of the letter in which the authors admitted they “do not know if the emails [on Hunter Biden’s laptop] … are genuine” and that they “do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
They published the letter regardless, knowing exactly what sections would get press – “disinformation” – and what wouldn’t “Oh, maybe we’re wrong!” And that latter section was what Priess used to justify his actions.
Baier read back the “classic earmarks” segment of the letter and asked, “Why did you sign onto that?”
Rather than admit to disseminating his own misinformation, Priess argued that people tend to leave out that “elsewhere in the letter – if you read it – that it also says we don’t know if this is a Russian operation at all.”
“That has been dramatically changed in the retelling of the story,” he added.
Not everybody is the kind of rube Priess is hoping for in convincing himself that he did nothing wrong.
What he is ‘dramatically changing’ himself is another line from the letter – a line that suggests that even if the intelligence officials are wrong about their hunch, they’re signing on to the letter anyway.
“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,” they said of the story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop at the time.
They weren’t right. And recent revelations from whistleblowers at the FBI and DOJ indicate they could have known they weren’t right prior to publishing the letter.
While Baier continued to press, Priess continued to dig his heels in, as one would expect from the CIA.
“The New York Times found that these are authenticated,” Baier pointed out before playing a clip of President Biden using the letter from these intelligence officials to deflect and defend himself from pointed attacks by Donald Trump during the first presidential debate.
“I’ll let President Biden speak for himself,” Priess fired back. “He’s capable of doing that.”
That Bidein is capable of speaking for himself is also debatable. But I digress.
Priess added, “What I’ll do is say is that it has all the classic earmarks of a Russian campaign in the way it was disseminated and propagated through media.”
Just keep repeating the lie and somebody will eventually believe you eh, Mr. Priess?
With that line of reasoning, any news story could be justified by saying it has “all the classic earmarks” of a misinformation campaign.
“Do you regret signing on to the letter?” Baier asked Priess.
“Absolutely not. Because those words are still true,” a defiant and shameless Priess responded.
Baier scoffed, “It had the classic earmarks, but it wasn’t true.”
The intelligence community at large wasn’t interested in the truth. They were single-mindedly focused on a mission.
One they achieved.
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