CNN Debate Moderators Linked To Controversial Hunter Biden Laptop Claims

CNN moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, set to oversee Thursday’s presidential debate, have notable connections to former intelligence officials involved in the disputed letter claiming Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign, as reported by Real Clear Investigations (RCI).

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who signed the letter, has a controversial history with Tapper. Clapper falsely denied leaking information about alleged Trump-Russia collusion to Tapper during a July 2017 congressional deposition. Despite later admitting the leak, Clapper continued to deny involvement in public statements. Tapper’s report on the Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, failed to disclose its origins, leading to significant criticism.

After the initial report, Clapper joined CNN as a national security analyst, working directly with Tapper. Tapper was awarded the Merriam Smith Award in 2018 for his reporting on the dossier, despite its later discrediting. Clapper also signed the 2020 letter labeling Hunter Biden’s laptop contents as Russian disinformation, a claim now debunked by multiple credible sources.

Dana Bash’s connection to the controversy includes her former husband, Jeremy Bash, a signatory of the letter. Jeremy Bash played a role in organizing the effort to create the letter, with former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitting it was intended to help then-Vice President Biden during the 2020 election debates.

The letter, released just weeks before the 2020 election, led Twitter to suspend the New York Post’s account and block tweets about the laptop, citing potential disinformation. However, the laptop’s authenticity has since been confirmed by outlets such as the Daily Caller News Foundation, New York Times, Washington Post, and CBS News.

In 2021, NPR corrected a story that had falsely claimed U.S. intelligence discredited the laptop story. Federal prosecutors have used the laptop’s contents as evidence in Hunter Biden’s gun charges case, further validating its legitimacy.

Despite these revelations, Tapper did not discuss the laptop story on his shows in October 2020 following the New York Post’s report, instead featuring guests who dismissed it as disinformation or a conspiracy. CNN later hired Natasha Bertrand, who had promoted the intelligence letter’s disinformation narrative, as a national security correspondent.

These connections raise questions about the objectivity of CNN’s debate moderators, given their ties to individuals involved in the controversial handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story.