The former acting director of the CIA who drafted the infamous Hunter Biden laptop letter wanted to give Joe Biden’s campaign a “talking point” to use in a debate against then-President Donald Trump, according to emails released on May 10.
“Trying to give the campaign, particularly during the debate on Thursday, a talking point to push back on Trump on this issue,” Michael Morell, a former top official at the spy agency, wrote in one of the emails on Oct. 19, 2020.
Morell was writing to John Brennan, another former CIA director, to ask if Brennan would add his name to the letter.
“Add my name to the list. Good initiative. Thanks for asking me to sign on,” Brennan replied.
The letter, which was prepared after the New York Post published the first story on files from the computer once owned by Joe Biden’s son, stated that the files had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Politico, which first reported on the letter, titled the article “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” and Brennan was among the signatories to claim disinformation in public outside of the letter.
Nick Shapiro, who worked under Brennan at the CIA, provided Politico with the letter. But it was Morell, an acting CIA director during the Obama administration, who organized it, according to recently revealed information, including a House of Representatives report released on May 10.
Morell began collecting signatures after messages from senior Biden campaign officials, including current Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Andrew Bates, the current White House deputy press secretary. Blinken’s call “triggered” the letter, Morell said in a transcribed interview. Bates sent a news article that cited Michael Carpenter, a former State Department official who heads the Penn Biden Center, as claiming that the Post story was “a Russian disinformation operation.”
Neither Carpenter nor the letter provided proof backing the claims. Morell said in one message to Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA officer who drafted the letter, that it “kinda feels” like the Russians were involved.