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Joe Biden email episode illustrates risk to Donald Trump from Rudy Giuliani

Do attacks on Hunter Biden lose credibility with the New York Mayor as their face?

A New York tabloid’s puzzling account about how it acquired emails purportedly from Joe Biden’s son has raised some red flags. One of the biggest involves the source of the emails: Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani has traveled abroad looking for dirt on the Bidens, developing relationships with shadowy figures, including a Ukrainian lawmaker who U.S. officials have described as a Russian agent and part of a broader Russian effort to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee.

Yet Giuliani says foreign sources didn’t provide the Hunter Biden emails. He says a laptop containing the emails and intimate photos was simply abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and the shop owner reached out to Giuliani’s lawyer.

That hasn’t stopped the FBI from investigating whether the emails are part of a foreign influence operation. The emails have surfaced as U.S. officials have been warning that Russia, which backed Trump’s 2016 campaign through hacking of Democratic emails and a covert social media campaign, is interfering again this year. The latest episode with Giuliani underscores the risk he poses to a White House that spent years confronted by a federal investigation into whether Trump associates had coordinated with Russia.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that intelligence agencies had warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of a Russian influence operation. The newspaper, citing four former officials, said that assessment was based on information including intercepted communications showing Giuliani had been in contact with people tied to Russian intelligence.

The newspaper said national security adviser Robert O’Brien had warned Trump that information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, but that Trump brushed off the warning.

Far from distancing himself from Giuliani, Trump has made the purported Hunter Biden emails one of his main talking points in the final weeks of the campaign as he tries to disparage his Democratic rival.

The Trump-friendly New York Post began publishing stories about the emails Wednesday, saying it had obtained them from the former New York mayor. The newspaper said the emails of Hunter Biden, a California resident, were found in a laptop that had been dropped off for service at a Delaware repair shop by an unidentified man who never picked it up. They said the shop owner turned it over to the FBI, but also made a copy of the hard drive and provided that to Giuliani’s lawyer.

One 2015 email published by the Post purported to show a top adviser for Burisma, the Ukraine gas company where Hunter Biden held a board seat, thanking Biden for giving him an opportunity to meet his father when the older Biden was serving as U.S. vice president. The Biden campaign and a lawyer for Hunter Biden said they had no record of such a meeting taking place. They have not addressed the authenticity of the emails.

Giuliani did not respond Friday for a request for comment from The Associated Press. But in an interview Thursday with a SiriusXM show, he asserted that the laptop had been dropped off by Hunter Biden, and that the material was not hacked and the laptop was legally obtained. He said on Fox News on Friday that the information from the laptop was “authentic as hell.”

The FBI is investigating whether the emails are tied to a foreign influence operation, according to a person who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity to AP. The exact scope of what was being investigated was not clear.

But the report that intelligence agencies have been concerned about Giuliani is hardly surprising.

Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian parliamentarian who is one of Giuliani’s principal contacts, was mentioned in an August intelligence assessment that described a concerted Russian effort to disparage Biden. A Treasury Department sanction announcement from last month characterized Derkach as an “active Russian agent for over a decade.”

Derkach in recent months has leaked recordings of calls Biden had as vice president with Ukraine’s then-leader, audio the Biden campaign contends is heavily edited. Despite his own administration’s warnings on Derkach, Trump has promoted those recordings on Twitter.

Giuliani has not been shy about discussing his foreign contacts, including with Derkach. In December, Derkach posted on his Facebook page photos of him and Giuliani meeting in Kyiv.

Frustration about Giuliani in the West Wing has long run rampant, with those around the president warily watching Giuliani’s efforts to bring down the Bidens and fearful they could boomerang back on the president.

Giuliani was central to advancing a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 election. His shadowy efforts to get Ukraine to launch investigations into the Bidens helped create the impeachment case against Trump.

Even detractors in the president’s orbit recognize Giuliani as a force in Trump’s defense during the lengthy Russia investigation by the special counsel. The probe detailed extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia but did not allege a criminal conspiracy between the two to tip the 2016 election. Yet the effort to undermine Robert Mueller led Giuliani to Ukraine, which many feel directly led to Trump’s impeachment. He was acquitted by the Senate in February.

After long struggling to find a cable-ready defender, Trump has been mostly appreciative of Giuliani’s attack-dog style — and, for a time, his broadsides against Mueller appeared to play a role in driving down the special counsel’s approval ratings. But at other times, the President has expressed private dismay at Giuliani’s scattershot style.

Some around Trump fear that the case being made against the younger Biden has been weakened because Giuliani has become its face.

The Trump campaign has been pushing allegations of corruption against the Bidens for more than a year, with the president advancing the widely discredited theory that the vice president sought to force out Ukraine’s top prosecutor to protect his son from scrutiny. Though Trump associates believe a case can be made that Hunter enriched himself by selling access to his father, they fear that Giuliani’s lack of credibility will cause the allegations to implode.

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Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    October 17, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Blah blah hunter biden blah blah. Desantis and Trump are using and. Abusing our children for community health in the use of herd immunity as a cure-all for the trumpvirus! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

  2. LINDIESUE

    October 17, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    This story came out in 2019 – but only on conservative outlets as the MSM will not cover it. Biden and his campaign have not denied the following: 1) the validity that these are Hunter Biden’s emails, 2) That Hunter worked for Burisma, 3) That Hunter received money from Ukraine, China, the Mayor of Moscow’s (Russia) wife, 4) that Hunter did leave his laptop at the repair shop and never picked it up again which was then turned over to DOJ. They claim this story has been “debunked” but never name who investigated it to “debunk” it. Liberals refuse to check for facts and truth if it hurts their agenda or candidates, period.

    The Obama FBI/DOJ/Intell spied on the Trump campaign and Trump as a candidate and President. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified documents (John Brennan’s personal notes) that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Fox News has learned.

    Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to making a false statement which is just the beginning of the fallout from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation. Clinesmith a “corrupt FBI attorney,” was part of former FBI Director James Comey’s “very corrupt FBI.””That’s just the beginning, You’ll be hearing more.”The Department of Justice charging document states that Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”

    To date, dozens of FBI/DOJ officials have been fired/demoted/resigned confirms that the swamp is being drained!!!! Much ink has been spilled in detailing the machinations of Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, as well as other former DOJ officials such as Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, and Bruce Ohr. Shockingly, Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for the Clinton-financed Fusion GPS—the firm behind the infamous anti-Trump dossier.

    VOTE RED UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT TO RESTORE TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR ALL CITIZENS OF AMERICA!!!!

  3. James Robert Miles

    October 17, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Anyone who quotes ANYTHING from Faux News believes only in lies! As for voting for ‘truth’ you won’t find ANY truth in whatever Trump has to say! He lies, lies and lies about everything! VOTE HIM OUT. LOCK HIM UP! DUMP TRUMP 2020 Save America from the world’s biggest liar and fascism!!

  4. Robert R Sands

    October 17, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Justice for ALL citizens of America? Not from Trump especially if you are Black, brown or gay. Get real! Just say NO to Trump in 2020! We need a real President, not one who dies his hair and wears make-up, cheats on his taxes, grabs women by their private parts and sleeps with whores! Don’t forget Trump calls dead U.S. soldiers suckers and losers and uses “bone spurs” as an excuse not to serve in the U.S. military!!

  5. LINDIESUE

    October 17, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Source in the email chain thread involving Hunter Biden corroborates the veracity of the messages, which appear to outline a deal involving Joe Biden and a Chinese energy firm.

    President Trump and Republicans have delivered for the black community on tangible policies that have had a positive impact — something the Democrats never achieved. Trump has been one of the most impactful presidents for African Americans from a policy perspective — and that’s what matters.

    His recent police-reform executive order, the First Step Act, released thousands of people from jail (90 percent of whom were black). He has promoted “opportunity zones” that incentivized private investment into marginalized communities, and also increased federal funding to historically black colleges and universities by 17 percent — a total exceeding $100 million, more than any president in history. Meanwhile, the Obama administration infamously removed a two-year Bush-administration program that annually funded $85 million directly to these prized institutions.

    The 1994 crime law, which Biden helped author when he was a senator, incentivized local police departments to lock up as many black people as possible, creating mass incarceration of African Americans, along with more prison cells and more aggressive policing. In addition, Biden was responsible for a provision in the 1986 crack law which came to be viewed as one of the most racially slanted sentencing policies on record: a rule that treated crack cocaine as significantly worse than powder cocaine and ended up disproportionately punishing African Americans and sending them to prison but sparing white Americans who typically used cocaine.

    Before COVID the economy was the strongest in U.S. history. African Americans were experiencing the best economy we have ever seen: Unemployment for our racial group was the lowest in recorded history, black wages were rapidly increasing for the first time in decades, and people who’d been out of work long-term were being hired and suddenly able to take their families on vacations for the first time in years.

    Trump signed an executive order moving the federal initiative HBCUs into the White House from the Department of Education, where it was housed under President Barack Obama’s administration. It establishes a President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. It was officially titled Presidential Executive Order on The White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
    “With this executive order, we will make HBCUs a priority in the White House — an absolute priority,” Trump said.

    “This was something that, frankly, the black college community assumed would have been easily accomplished with the first African-American president, and after over eight years of repeated requests, to think that within 45 days of his presidency we were able to convene all of the [HBCU] presidents in the Oval Office and a subset of us were able to come back and sign the executive order. The order establishes an executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, which will be in the Executive Office of the President. Part of that person’s responsibilities will be to strengthen schools through enhanced planning and development, collaboration with the private sector, participation in federal programs and upgrading infrastructure.

    Tim Scott’s Opportunity Zones will provide tax incentives for investment in parts of the country that have not seen big gains since the Great Recession ended. He helped get the provision tucked in the tax bill signed by Trump in December 2017.

  6. LINDIESUE

    October 17, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    At a fundraiser, Joe Biden pulled a Joe Biden, stirring up controversy after speaking off the cuff about his fond memories of working alongside segregationist senators

    May 2020: “You ain’t black.”

    In an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” the presumptive Democratic nominee told host Charlamagne tha God, “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” before defending his record with the black community.

    August 2019: “Poor kids” just as bright as “white kids”

    At a campaign event in Iowa, Biden told supporters “poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.” He quickly corrected himself after some applause by adding: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”

    June 2019: “The kid wearing a hoodie.”

    While discussing the need for criminal justice reform at a luncheon last year, Biden said “We’ve got to recognize that the kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger,” Biden said. Biden quickly drew criticism for his use of the word “gangbanger.” Former presidential candidate Cory Booker said Biden “needs to have the language to talk about race in a far more constructive way.”

    August 2012: “Put y’all back in chains”

    Then-Vice President Biden told a Virginia audience (NAACP) that then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s financial regulation lifts would “put y’all back in chains.”

    “He said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules,” Biden said. “Unchain Wall Street! They’re gonna put y’all back in chains.”

    February 2007:

    Biden, while running for the 2008 presidency, issued what he thought was praise of then-Senator Barack Obama, saying he was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

    2006: “You can’t go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent”

    July 2020: Biden sparked controversy across social media on Wednesday after a preview clip from the interview (black host) showed a separate tense exchange with CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett on whether the former VP has taken a cognitive test. “No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you (the host) got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden told Barnett, who is Black.

    Biden accusing a black man of being a junkie is the latest in the ugly racist stereotypes Biden’s trafficked in during this campaign.

    August 2020: Biden responded. “And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”

    September 2020 Biden: “The reason I was able to stay sequestered in my home was because some black woman was able to stock the grocery shelf.”

  7. Palmer Tom

    October 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Fake news

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