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The Associated Press reported that unnamed U.S. intelligence officials are recycling a familiar narrative ahead of the 2024 election, claiming without evidence that the upcoming presidential election is a target for foreign disinformation campaigns.

An unnamed official from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has been briefing political candidates and government groups an unspecified number of times, alleging that the risks in 2024 are higher because “presidential elections draw more attention from our adversaries,” according to The Associated Press (AP).

They made similar claims in 2020 when 51 intelligence officials falsely asserted that Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” This letter and the leftist media’s refusal to cover the story ultimately led Big Tech to censor anyone who dared to share the New York Post’s bombshell on the laptop.

The AP’s claims also echo the allegations from 2016 when the leftist media and Obama-era intelligence operatives conveniently claimed, without evidence, that Russia had interfered in the election through alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.

And now, in 2024, they're at it again.

Tellingly, the unnamed ODNI official alleging the threat to the 2024 elections did not provide specific details about any alleged threats, according to the AP. The AP reporter, David Klepper, did not immediately respond to MRC’s request for comments about whether the official who briefed him was a political appointee or a career federal employee.

The AP further reported that the official began raising the alarm in the fall of 2023, conveniently providing ample time and cover for the media to prepare their talking points to suggest that anything unfavorable to the left could be part of yet another Russian disinformation campaign.

“Ever since we published our studies showing how Google and Facebook have interfered in our elections dozens of times, we’ve noticed a rapidly growing uptick in pressure for Big Tech to censor, especially those who pose a threat to Joe Biden,” said Dan Schneider, Vice President for Free Speech at the Media Research Center. He added, “Knowing how these tech giants have hired hundreds of U.S. intel officers, I am not surprised that the intel community is following suit.” 

As reported by the AP, foreign influence campaigns can include “false or exaggerated claims” about candidates. But the AP failed to recount the infamous letter signed by 51 then-current former intelligence officials to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell featured in the New York Post just weeks before the 2020 election.

In October 2020, the New York Post exposed President Joe Biden’s participation in the business dealings of his now-convicted felon son, according to emails and text messages uncovered in a laptop “abandoned” by the first son at a Delaware laptop shop.

“If we are right, this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this,”  the intelligence officials —allegedly spearheaded by now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken—claimed in the letter.

But, to the detriment of Joe Biden and his scandal-plagued family, they were wrong.

Fast forward to 2024, and the laptop, first revealed by the New York Post through bombshell reporting, was authenticated by federal prosecutors in the criminal trial against Hunter Biden for making false statements about drug abuse on a federal gun purchase form.

Even before the DOJ confirmed the laptop was real, the New York Post went to great lengths to verify the laptop, which contained emails, text messages, and other politically damning content. The FBI had infamously seized the laptop from the retail shop where Hunter Biden had left it.

Despite all this information, Big Tech companies — in particular, Twitter and Facebook — used the now-debunked letter to censor the New York Post and Americans who dared to share the outlet’s exposé just weeks before the 2020 election.

The consequences of Big Tech’s censorship actions were damning for the nation.

According to a Media Research Center poll of 1,750 Biden voters, 9.4 percent of them said they would have voted against Biden had they known about the New York Post exposé—flipping Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for Trump.

Such a margin means that the 2020 election would have gone to former President Donald Trump.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.