Ex-Trump official and ex-CIA officer clash over Hunter Biden’s laptop
The former US intelligence chief has blasted one of the officials who signed the letter, which cast doubt on Hunter Biden’s laptop – calling it a lying “pseudo” and igniting a Twitter war over the weekend.
The spat broke out on Saturday when richard grenell, The former Trump-appointed acting director of national intelligence was responding to a post by John Sipher, who retired from the CIA in 2014, about ethical behavior among government officials.
“Didn’t @john_sipher sign a letter 3 weeks before the 2020 election saying not to look at Hunter Biden’s laptop because it’s Russian disinformation?” Grenell tweeted Saturday. “Now he’s lecturing people on ethical behavior?! These people have no shame…”
The letter was signed by 51 former intelligence officials, including Sipher, and released after the New York Post in October 2020 revealed the existence of the laptop Biden left behind at a Delaware computer repair shop.
It contained a plethora of emails about Biden’s dealings in China and Ukraine, implicating his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden.
At the time of the report’s publication, Biden was the Democratic presidential nominee.
The exchange between Sipher and Grenell appeared to have been sparked by a tweet urging Republicans — if they take control of Congress this year — to revoke security clearances on all former members of the intelligence community who signed the Biden letter.
The heated back-and-forth culminated on Sunday when Grenell admonished Sipher for signing the letter, which falsely discredited the laptop as Russian disinformation. Sipher was among dozens of signers who then declined to respond to the Post when asked if they would apologize now that the New York Times confirmed the laptop’s existence.
”They signed the letter and then refused to reply to the @nypostt. So stop naming and answer — is Hunter Biden’s laptop Russian disinformation?” Grenell wrote.
He followed this post with another.
”While calling for sanctions on Putin’s pipeline, @john_sipher said Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation. You lied. There wasn’t a single piece of information to suggest that,” Grenell said in the tweet, linking to a Post editorial seeking a response from Sipher and the others.
Sipher replied to Grenell and said, “Read the letter.”
“There are no lies. The Russians have clearly used the issue to harm our country, but you and your ilk have merely facilitated and encouraged Russian disinformation. On the other hand, you will support anything – even lies – to hook up with Trump,” Sipher tweeted.
Grenell countered that he was “obsessed” with identifying people who were “manipulating intelligence agencies for their partisan gain.”
“*THEY* said Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation. They have told the public not to take the laptop seriously. They pretended to have seen information,” he said. “You didn’t even get a briefing!”
Sipher replied, “Ha.”
“Says the man who didn’t say a word when his boss said he trusted Putin more than his own intelligence community,” Sipher said
Two minutes later, Grenell fired back.
“Lol. He can run, but he can’t hide,” he said. “He’s a swindler. Who lied about intelligence information.”
A few minutes later, Grenell reposted and included a picture of Sipher blocking his tweets.
”lol. He signed the letter saying Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation,” Grenell said.
Sipher, responding to an earlier tweet, warned Grenell that he had to block it.
“See who’s trying to use a non-issue to be relevant,” he tweeted. “Sad. He blocked me over two years ago when he was an officer and couldn’t take criticism. I have to block him now so he doesn’t misrepresent me to the crazies who follow him. Bye Dick. It was fun .”