- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2020

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said on Monday there is no evidence that Hunter Biden’s explosive emails are part of a Russian disinformation campaign, specifically calling out Rep. Adam Schiff for spreading the conspiracy without evidence.

“It’s funny that some of the people who complain the most about intelligence being politicized are the ones politicizing the intelligence,” Mr. Ratcliffe said, according to Fox News. “Unfortunately, it is Adam Schiff who said the intelligence community believes the Hunter Biden laptop and emails on it are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.”

“Let me be clear,” Mr. Ratcliffe said. “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress.”

Mr. Ratcliffe appeared on “Mornings with Maria” hosted on Fox Business by Maria Bartiromo.

Mr. Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, immediately blamed Russia last week, without evidence, after the New York Post published a number of emails from a laptop owned by Hunter, son of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden.

Mr. Schiff has consistently implied in recent years that the Russians, who hacked the Democrats’ 2016 election computers, are behind various conspiracies. He and other Democrats said a Russian-tied Ukraine politician influenced a probe into Hunter Biden’s finances by Republican senators. The Senators said their staffs never talked to the operative or received any material.

The MacBook Pro laptop was left by Hunter Biden at a repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, in April 2019, the shop owner told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Mr. Biden never retrieved the machine so after three months the shop owner took possession. He was so disturbed by some of the contents he provided the hard drive to the FBI in late 2019. He later provided copies to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney.

The email cache shows Hunter Biden arranged a meeting with an executive from Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings, an energy firm that placed Mr. Biden on its board of directors and paid him millions of dollars from 2014-19.

Mr. Biden also had a deal with a Chinese billionaire to pay him $10 million a year for “introductions only.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also made a Monday morning appearance, this one on Fox News. He suggested there is more damaging information to come tying the former vice president to wrongdoing.

He also said that it is Democrats who are spreading laptop disinformation.

“I’m not aware of any Russian disinformation campaign that would involve these emails or this laptop,” Mr. Meadows said. “And no defensive briefing, to my knowledge, has been given. And so, all of this narrative that is out there that would suggest that it’s not real, that’s the disinformation.

“You know, Adam Schiff came on and said oh, this is Russia, Russia, Russia. And again, I can tell you, this is Adam Schiff, once again, trying to spin a story that’s not accurate. I think in the days to come you will see that Joe Biden will have a lot to answer for.”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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