Jeremy Bash biden pick intelligence committy hunter laptop

Bash served under former President Obama’s administration as Chief of Staff to the Director of the CIA (2009-2011) and as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (2011-2013).
President Joe Biden's latest pick for his Intelligence Advisory Board is an MSNBC pundit who was among dozens of former intelligence officials to sign a letter in 2020 claiming, without evidence, that the Hunter Biden laptop story was part of a Russian disinformation operation.

Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff at the CIA and Pentagon, was picked by Biden to be part of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board on Friday. Bash, along with roughly 50 other ex-intelligence officials, signed a letter in October 2020 claiming the Hunter Biden laptop saga had "all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation," while Bash himself suggested on TV that the laptop story was "Russian disinformation."

The biography of Bash provided by the White House noted he was the chief of staff under Leon Panetta when he was CIA director and then secretary of defense. Panetta also signed the Hunter Biden letter. Other signatories included Obama CIA Director John Brennan, Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Obama acting CIA Director Mike Morell, and former George W. Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden.

Bash's LinkedIn lists him as the founder and managing director at Beacon Global Strategies and a national security analyst at NBC News and MSNBC. He is also on the board of directors for the International Spy Museum.

"The President's Intelligence Advisory Board is an independent element within the Executive Office of the President," the White House said. "The President's Intelligence Advisory Board exists exclusively to assist the President by providing the President with an independent source of advice on the effectiveness with which the Intelligence Community is meeting the nation's intelligence needs and the vigor and insight with which the community plans for the future."

Biden's 2020 presidential campaign dismissed the laptop story as a Russian disinformation operation. After the New York Post published emails belonging to his son, Joe Biden called the story "garbage" and part of a "Russian plan" during an October 2020 debate with then-President Donald Trump.

He claimed, "There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he's accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said this is, has all the — four, five former heads of the CIA. Both parties say what he's saying is a bunch of garbage."

Joe Biden was referring to a Politico report about the letter in an article titled "Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say." The title was misleading because the letter never directly called the story Russian "disinformation."

The letter hedged a bit at various times, noting: "We do not have evidence of Russian involvement." Bash himself strongly suggested it was "disinformation" on TV, however.

"This looks like Russian intelligence. This walks like Russian intelligence. This talks like Russian intelligence," Bash claimed on MSNBC on Oct. 19, 2020. "This effort by Rudy Giuliani and the New York Post and Steve Bannon to cook up supposed dirt on Joe Biden looks like a classic Russian playbook disinformation campaign."

Bash also called the emails "mysteriously created" and claimed they were "probably hacked through a Russian intelligence operation." He called it "collusion in plain sight."

"At a minimum, it's conspiracy to engage in computer crimes and hacking in violation of criminal laws," Bash told Rachel Maddow of the emergence of the laptop emails. "It's also potentially conspiracy to engage in election interference."

Konstantinos "Gus" Dimitrelos, a cyber forensics expert and former Secret Service agent, conducted an examination of the laptop for the Washington Examiner this year, concluding "there is a 100% certainty that Robert Hunter Biden was the only person responsible for the activity on this hard drive" and that "the hard drive is authentic."

Whistleblower disclosures released by Senate Republicans have claimed the bureau improperly labeled evidence on Hunter Biden "disinformation" in 2020.

Bash was also picked to be part of the Afghanistan War Commission earlier this year.