White House dismisses Hunter Biden laptop ‘Twitter files’ as ‘distraction’

Karine Jean-Pierre
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik/AP

White House dismisses Hunter Biden laptop ‘Twitter files’ as ‘distraction’

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The White House downplayed Twitter CEO Elon Musk‘s file dump regarding the social media platform’s decision to suppress news stories about Hunter Biden‘s laptop before the 2020 election as a “distraction.”

“We see this as an interesting — or a coincidence, if I may — that he would so haphazardly, that Twitter would so haphazardly push this distraction, that is full of old news, if you think about it,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday. “At the same time, Twitter is facing very real and very serious questions about the rising volume of anger, hate, and antisemitism on their platform.”

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Jean-Pierre added Twitter’s internal content moderation discussions, disclosed through journalist Matt Taibbi, “won’t do anything to help a single American improve their lives.”

The press secretary had earlier bristled at the suggestion the White House is “keeping a close eye” on Twitter after Musk bought the embattled social media platform in October for $44 billion.

The Twitter communications, shared as part of Musk’s promise to increase the social media platform’s transparency, show Biden and Democratic National Committee aides had flagged laptop-related content with executives based on concerns material had been hacked. Republican operatives have done the same in the past, but Taibbi contended they experienced less success given the politics of many of the company’s staff.

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Taibbi underscored that although “several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement,” he found no evidence that the government was involved in the laptop story.

Taibbi added that the decision was made at “the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey.” Instead, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former head of legal, policy, and trust, was involved, according to Taibbi.

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