President Donald Trump preemptively released the full interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl for “60 Minutes,” Thursday after the two engaged in a sparring match in which Stahl threatened the network could not air claims the president made during their discussion.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2020
During the half-hour conversation, Trump hammered the press for refusing to ask tough questions of his November opponent now embroiled by scandal after the New York Post began publishing a series of exposés implicating the former vice president in Hunter Biden’s potentially criminal overseas business dealings.
A combative Stahl regurgitating Democratic talking points throughout the entire interview argued repeatedly that several of the president’s claims held no merit, with no way to verify them, and with no evidence to back them up.
Stahl Dismisses Hunter Biden Laptop
After 20 minutes of sparring, Stahl denied outright that former Vice President Joe Biden was undergoing any scandal at all.
“He’s in the midst of a scandal,” Trump said after complaining about reporters asking Biden over the weekend what kind of ice cream he purchased on a campaign stop as opposed to the blockbuster reporting just two days before that revealed how the Biden family stood to rake in millions from businessmen with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“He’s not,” Stahl interrupted. “He’s not. No.”
Later in the interview, Stahl denied that the Delaware computer suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden’s was even a story at all after claiming it has been “investigated and discredited.”
“It can’t be verified,” Stahl said of the laptop. “It can’t be verified.”
“What can’t be verified?” Trump said.
The day after the interview was taped however, Fox News reported that the laptop in question was seized by the FBI as part of a federal money laundering investigation and its contents were “verified by multiple federal law enforcement officials who reviewed them.”
So, yes, the laptop can be “verified” and has been “verified.”
Meanwhile, the Biden campaign took a week to dispute the authenticity of the laptop’s emails published first by the New York Post calling the paper’s reporting “Russian disinformation” ahead of Thursday night’s debate.
“If we see tonight from Donald Trump these attacks on Vice President Biden’s family, I think we need to be very, very clear that what he’s doing here is amplifying Russian disinformation,” Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield told reporters on an afternoon press call.
The charges that Hunter Biden’s laptop stems from a larger election interference campaign by the Russian government, which had been perpetuated by Biden allies and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had already been debunked by the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Department of National Intelligence, and the Department of State.
“Let me be clear,” DNI Director John Ratcliffe said Monday during an appearance on Fox Business on claims of Russian disinformation. “The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.”
Secret Service records released by Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin Tuesday night also corroborated travel details outlined in the emails reported by the New York Post, and a former Biden associate came forward Wednesday night offering additional testimony confirming the Post’s claims.
In a statement, former Navy Lt. Tony Bobulinski says Hunter Biden regularly sought Joe Biden’s approval of foreign business deals. Hunter “frequently referenced asking [Joe] for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing,” Bobulinski says. pic.twitter.com/Cg5DdRuxdC
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 22, 2020
[Read everything you need to know about Hunter Biden’s scandals here.]
Stahl Whitewashes Crossfire Hurricane
While Stahl spent time dismissing only the latest scandals surrounding Joe Biden, the CBS reporter also denied the existence of any evidence implicating that the former vice president spied on the Trump campaign in 2016.
“The biggest scandal,” Trump said, “was when they spied on my campaign.”
“There’s no real evidence of that,” Stahl said.
Actually, there’s quite the contrary.
Either Stahl showed up to the exclusive White House interview ignorant of investigations into Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, George Papadoupoulos, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn or she was covering up for her preferred Democratic presidential candidate two weeks before the election. Given Stahl’s passionate defense of Joe Biden, it’s probably the latter.
What Stahl does not mention: Carter Page, George Papadoupoulos, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, 'Azra Turk,' Stefan Halper, the 8/30/2016 FBI briefing, the 1/6/17 ICA briefing, and more. Taken all together, by any reasonable definition, that's spying. 3/3 End.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 22, 2020
As the Federalist has extensively reported, the Obama administration weaponized the FBI to conduct a deep-state coup operation to ensure that in the event Trump did take office, they would frame the president as an agent of the Russian government who colluded with the Kremlin to undermine American interests warranting impeachment.
The investigation, now known as “Crossfire Hurricane,” relied on DNC-funded opposition research compiled in the unverified and widely discredited Steele Dossier which in turn, was infected with by Russian disinformation.
Just last month, the Federalist reported that Russia believed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was planning the anti-Trump collusion campaign in 2016 and U.S. officials knew it. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan had even briefed President Barack Obama that the Kremlin had discovered Clinton put in plans during the summer of the election year “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”
The Federalist also reported last month on newly discovered FBI notes revealing that officials carrying out their deep-state operation has purchased liability insurance on the taxpayer dime to protect themselves two weeks before Trump took office.
In July, the Federalist reported that declassified documents in the FBI showed Obama used a “defensive” of the Trump campaign briefing to collect information on the Republican operation.
“Rather than provide the Trump campaign a specific warning that certain campaign principals were being targeted by Russian interference,” Federalist Co-Founder Sean Davis wrote, “the FBI instead gave a general, non-specific warning that foreign intelligence services might eventually target the campaign.”
In January, the Federalist reported that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) admitted that two of the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants used to spy on Page were illegal.
In December, the Federalist reported on the long-anticipated inspector general report from the Department of Justice documenting the FBI’s malicious abuse of government power to spy on the Trump campaign and paint Page as a Russian spy. Officials in the FBI even went as far as to doctor evidence to perpetuate the made-up narrative.
The same report concluded that there would be no warrant granted on Page without the Steele Dossier, which FBI officials not only knew was junk intelligence but was also sourced by a Russian national who the federal law enforcement agency had suspected was a national security threat.
"Not a single American was found to have colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, but now we have the first indication of a measure of accountability for the people who perpetrated this false theory that did damage to the Republican president and his voters" @MZHemingway pic.twitter.com/GbTe0BSeGg
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) August 15, 2020
And yet, Stahl says there’s no evidence.