https://www.businessinsider.com/spies-h ... ?r=US&IR=T
US spies say the Hunter Biden email controversy shows how 'exploitable' and 'grotesquely vulnerable' Trump and Giuliani are to Russian intelligence
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html
U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter.
The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.
The warnings to the White House, which have not previously been reported, led national security adviser Robert O’Brien to caution Trump in a private conversation that any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, one of the former officials said.
The message was, “Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” this person said. Officials wanted “to protect the president from coming out and saying something stupid,” particularly since he was facing impeachment over his own efforts to strong-arm Ukraine’s president into investigating the Bidens.
When the New York Post published the alleged contents of a computer hard drive purporting to document the Ukrainian and Chinese business activities of Hunter Biden, the newspaper cast the information as a "smoking gun."
Enter the FBI.
Less than three weeks before one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in history, federal authorities are investigating whether the material supplied to the Post by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is part of a smoke bomb of disinformation pushed by Russia.
The inquiry, according to a person familiar with the matter, is at least in part, aimed at determining whether Russia has set its sights on a familiar target: Biden's father, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The person is not authorized to comment on the matter publicly and asked not to be named in order to speak candidly.
The FBI has declined to comment, refusing to either confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
The gauzy details of the newspaper's account trace the hard drive to a computer repair shop in Delaware, where a laptop had been left for service last year but was never reclaimed by the customer. Exactly how the material moved to Giuliani, who with Trump has long pushed debunked conspiracy theories about the Bidens, has raised as many questions as the authenticity of the laptop data the president's lawyer provided to the newspaper.
After months of investigation, two Republican-led Senate committees unveiled a report in September that found no evidence of wrongdoing or corrupt actions by the former vice president in connection with his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine.
But Trump and Giuliani have continued to lob allegations at the Democratic nominee, despite multiple investigations, including the recent GOP probes, that had found no basis for the claims.
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... 661895001/
The New York Post story's publication prompted some to draw parallels to the runup to the 2016 election, when emails from the Democratic National Committee were hacked by Russian-affiliated operatives and released by WikiLeaks.
The FBI is now examining whether Russia is tied to the information cited by the New York Post.
Some experts say the story has many hallmarks of a disinformation campaign.
"It is also an old Cold War disinformation tactic to pass information, especially but not exclusively when forged, to low-brow newspapers that have high circulation and low standards of investigation. Ideal for surfacing and amplification," Thomas Rid, a political scientist who focuses on disinformation and information warfare at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said in a tweet.
Russian operatives worked to sow partisan divisions in the U.S. and spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential election cycle, according to a 2017 report from U.S. intelligence services. That report found that Russian President Vladimir Putin "aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances," in part by discrediting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump's own intelligence officials have warned Moscow is interfering again in the 2020 election.
In September, the Treasury Department sanctioned Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, who met with Giuliani in December, for being an "active Russian agent for over a decade."
So, the question we must ask...
Hey, Doc, are you wittingly helping the Russians interfer with the 2020 elections, or are you just what the KGB used to refer to as ”a useful idiot”?