Opinion

White House Desperate to Ignore ‘Twitter Files’ and Hunter Biden Laptop Story

In a normal world with a normal media, a story like the “Twitter Files,” and the information surrounding the handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story three weeks before the 2020 presidential election would be a non-stop story.

Instead, there is the opposite. The media and the White House are desperately trying to ignore the massive trove of documents new Twitter owner Elon Musk gave to independent journalist Matt Taibbi last week that laid out the behind the scenes discussions of how the social media platform would deal with the story.

At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did her best to ignore a question about that story from Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich, who pointed out that it was Twitter’s company policy to have an official pronouncement from law enforcement that any story material was false, or hacked.

She stated that Taibbi claimed he found no evidence of law enforcement stating that they had found evidence of hacking.

Heinrich asked, “Did anyone from the Biden team communicate to Twitter that this material was… or this reporting stemmed from hacked materials?” 

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What Laptop Story?

Karine Jean-Pierre then decided confusion might be a good tactic and replied, “Are you talking about the campaign?” Heinrich repeated the question setup, that it was Twitter’s company policy to bring in law enforcement to make a determination on any possible hacking.

Heinrich asked again, “So, I’m wondering if it was communicated, even informally, by someone around the President or the President’s family or the campaign that this was hacked material or could have come from hacked material, given that there was so much concern, especially after the 2018 foreign interference situation, that that could be something that we would see in that election. So I’m wondering if there was that communication there surrounding the Hunter Biden laptop story.”

Jean-Pierre’s total dodge of the question was, if nothing else, creative.

She stated, “So I can’t speak to decisions made by — by the campaign from here. That is not — it is a political campaign, so I can’t speak from that from here — to that from here. I’m covered by the Hatch Act. And so I’m just not going to comment on the question that you’re asking me.”

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If Confusion Doesn’t Work

Jean-Pierre then did a bit of deflecting, or maybe it was just passing the buck, and added, “But what I can say more broadly is: Of course, it’s up to these companies to make their own decision about the content on their platforms and to ensure content follows their own standards and policies. But I’m just not going to comment on a decision that was made during the campaign.”

It is not the first time the White House has tried to use the “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” strategy while trying to ignore the laptop story. On Monday, after the Twitter Files were released, called the revelations “old news,” and tried to change the subject to any wrongdoing by Twitter.

Jean-Pierre stated, “We see this as an interesting … or a coincidence, if I may, that he would so haphazardly push this distraction that is so full of old news, if you think about it, and at the same time, Twitter is facing very real and very serious questions about the rising volume of anger, hate and antisemitism on their platform, and how they’re letting it happen.”

Elon Musk has stated that, in the interest of free speech, he would reinstate many Twitter accounts that had been banned. Liberal Democrats argue that reinstating those accounts is tantamount to allowing “hate speech” on the platform and would “spell doomsday for democracy.”

Karine Jean-Pierre also said that the Biden administration would “be keeping a close eye” on Twitter. 

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Becky Noble

Becky Noble, a political blogger and writer for over 10 years, lives by the motto, “Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.” Becky holds a degree in journalism from Regent University.

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