A longtime State Department employee who helped Joe Biden dismiss as “disinformation” damning tapes of the then-vice president even though he had good reason to believe the the recordings were the real deal landed a plum job in Joe Biden‘s presidential administration.
Michael Carpenter was standing by the future president’s side in 2018 as Biden recounted a similar exchange at a public event. But like Nina Jankowicz, the Democratic operative Biden named to the now-scuttled “Disinformation Governance Board,” Carpenter was there when Biden needed him to help make the embarrassing story go away.
The recordings involving Biden were “a KGB-style disinformation operation tied to pro-Russian forces in Ukraine whose chief aim is to make deceptive noise in the U.S. election campaign to advance the interests of their oligarchic backers, the Kremlin, and the faltering Trump campaign,” Carpenter told the Washington Post prior to the 2020 election.
In a September 2019 call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” how in 2015, then-Vice President Biden allegedly pressured Ukraine to fire a top prosecutor, saying it “sounds horrible to me.” Biden’s conduct had significance because the prosecutor he wanted fired was overseeing a corruption probe into Burisma, the oil company that paid Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, up to $83,000 per month.
Democrats impeached Trump over his call, saying he was exerting improper influence on Ukraine.
In mid-2020, a Ukrainian lawmaker produced snippets of leaked audio between Biden and then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko that tended to support Trump’s premise, repeatedly illustrating a quid-pro-quo:
Poroshenko: Joe, I have a second positive news for you. Yesterday, I met with the General Prosecutor Shokin. And despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him – no, it was day before yesterday, I specially asked him to resign. … and one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation.
Poroshenko: This is my second step for keeping my promises.
Biden: I agree. … I’m a man of my word, and now that the new prosecutor general is in place, we’re ready to move forward in signing that new one billion dollar loan guarantee.
Poroshenko: It was a very tough challenge and difficult job… we not only voted for the new Prosecutor General, which we do in a very short period of time within one day.
Carpenter had reason to know those tapes were authentic, because he was sitting on stage by Biden’s side at 2018 event at the Council for Foreign Relations in which Biden himself had merrily recounted the exchange Trump was referring to, and one which jibed with the tape of Biden and Porshenko’s conversation.
“I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours,” Biden boasted to laughter. “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b****. He got fired.”
The media declined to cover the tapes of the Biden-Porshenko conversation, and Ukraine mounted an investigation to find who leaked the tapes to the lawmaker. In September 2020, The Associated Press lamented that because there is no evidence the recordings were “stolen or were entirely fabricated, they’ve been able to flourish online.”
It quoted Jankowicz, a far-left activist and former adviser to the government of Ukraine who it described as a “nonpartisan” disinformation expert:
“It’s certainly an influence campaign,” Jankowicz said of the recordings. “It’s misleading to an audience that doesn’t have the full picture.”
The AP said the Biden campaign attempted to get YouTube to remove the recordings “on the grounds they had been manipulated to mislead viewers, but the company refused.”
Twitter also refused to remove tweets containing the recordings, since there was no evidence they were illegally obtained. The Associated Press characterized Jankowicz as calling it a “loophole” that a social media company would not remove content that is neither fabricated nor stolen.
“If you get a piece of information in the hands of the right American, it can absolutely spin out of control and make the national news in a couple of days,” she said.
The Washington Post published a similar story, one that avoided the substance of the tapes and complained instead that Americans had learned of them and were listening to them online.
Carpenter, who did not return a request for comment from The Daily Wire, landed an ambassadorship in the Biden administration, serving as the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
His State Department biography says that “Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Carpenter was the Managing Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2015-17, Dr. Carpenter served in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Conventional Arms Control. Previously, he worked in the White House as a foreign policy advisor to then-Vice President Biden and as Director for Russia at the National Security Council. Prior to his White House jobs, Carpenter was a career Foreign Service Officer with the State Department.”