(breitbart) – Former deputy director of National Intelligence (DNI) Cliff Sims on Wednesday stated he warned CNN reporter Natasha Bertrand that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not Russian disinformation before she wrote the infamous and now discredited Politico story which used “dozens of former intel officials” to push a false and misleading narrative about the origins of Hunter’s laptop.
Bertrand, a reporter for Politico at the time, approached then-deputy DNI Sims on October 19, 2020, regarding an article she was writing about 50 former information officials claiming Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation. Breitbart News’s Emma-Jo Morris had a few days earlier broken the “Laptop from Hell” story, which big tech censored, in the New York Post.
Sims told Bertrand before the publication of the Politico story that the “Laptop from Hell” was not Russian disinformation, citing then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe. Despite Sims’ warning, Bertrand wrote the story anyway and gave the Democrats the headline they wanted, Sims stated.
On October 16, a few days before Bertrand approached Sims, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) falsely claimed the New York Post’s “Laptop from Hell” story was a part of a Russian attempt to “smear” then-candidate Joe Biden. Ratcliffe had condemned Schiff’s false claim, and Sims relayed that to Bertrand as background for her now-debunked Politico story.
But Bertrand ignored the DNI’s statement, which contradicted the narrative she wanted to push with the “dozens of former intel officials.” Sims explained the timeline via a Twitter thread:
I was serving as Deputy DNI for Strategy & Communications in 2020, so during the height of election season. I was part of then-DNI @JohnRatcliffe‘s small circle of advisors and part of my job was handling reporter inquiries, particularly if they dealt directly with the DNI.
Oct. 16: @RepAdamSchiff suggest the laptop might be a part of a Russian effort to “smear” Biden.
Oct. 19: @JohnRatcliffe says there’s NO intel to support Schiff’s lie. The press played it like it was a “battle.” History has proven who was a liar & “politicized” their position.
Oct. 19, then-@politico reporter @NatashBertrand preps a story about 50 former Intel officials claiming the Biden laptop story is Russian disinfo. I warn her that it is NOT and point her to Ratcliffe’s statements. She writes it anyway and gives Democrats the headline they want.
Sims also stated that Bertrand has never admitted she pushed false and misleading information at Politico that likely impacted the 2020 election. In fact, Bertrand was shortly thereafter hired by CNN, which had been pushing the false narrative spun by Bertrand at Politico about Hunter’s laptop being Russian disinformation.
“None of them — Schiff, the former Intel officials who lied about the laptop…the journalists involved — have ever admitted they were wrong,” Sims said “And these headlines remain on @politico to this day.”
House Republicans have promised to investigate the cabal involved in the false narrative leading up to the 2020 presidential election. On December 2, 2022, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded two of the highest ranking spies that signed onto the Politico letter, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, divulge information related to their attempt to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020.
If Clapper and Brennan refuse to comply, Jordan vowed he will use his future subpoena power to compel the two men to comply with his requests.
According to recent polling, 71 percent of Americans believe accurate reporting of Hunter’s “Laptop from Hell” could have altered the 2020 presidential election.
In 2018 and 2020, Breitbart Senior Contributor and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer published Secret Empires and Profiles in Corruption. Each book hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list and exposed how Hunter Biden and Joe Biden flew to China aboard Air Force Two in 2013 before Hunter’s firm inked a $1.5 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China less than two weeks after the trip. Schweizer’s work also uncovered the Biden family’s other vast and lucrative foreign deals and cronyism.
Breitbart Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris’s investigative work at the New York Post on the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” also captured international headlines when she, along with Miranda Devine, revealed that Joe Biden was intimately involved in Hunter’s businesses, appearing to even have a 10 percent stake in a company the scion formed with officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.