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Meta had the back of CEO Mark Zuckerberg after he described how the company hushed a bombshell story about Hunter Biden following a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding alleged Russian disinformation.
During an interview with podcast host Joe Rogan, the executive said that his company suppressed a story published by the New York Post about Hunter Biden’s laptop — which contains photos of Hunter Biden naked and smoking crack, as well as possible evidence of corrupt dealings that involve President Joe Biden — after the FBI warned of Russian disinformation campaigns days before the 2020 election.
“We just kind of thought, hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view as a legitimate institution in this country, it’s like very professional law enforcement, they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously,” Zuckerberg told Rogan.
Meta’s communications team ran cover for Zuckerberg by commenting on social media that they took “seriously” the FBI’s warning of “foreign hack and leak operations.”
“[W]e didn’t block the New York Post story, we temporarily reduced its distribution to give fact-checking partners time to review it,” Meta said, referring to Zuckerberg’s former testimony to members of the Senate.
In response to America First Policy Institute ambassador Nick Adams implying that Meta — which at that point was still called Facebook — therefore manipulated the outcome of the 2020 election, Meta defended itself by saying that “the FBI shared general guidance about the threat of foreign interference and potential hack and leak operations, not about Hunter Biden or his laptop.”
The FBI had been in possession of the laptop — which Hunter Biden allegedly left at a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware — as early as 2019. In a recent poll from Technometrica Institute of Policy and Politics, 79% of respondents affirmed that former President Donald Trump likely would have attained re-election if voters had known about the contents of the laptop.
Zuckerberg’s comments come weeks after the FBI raided Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago as part of a criminal investigation into documents that the former commander-in-chief allegedly mishandled. At the orders of U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the Department of Justice submitted a heavily redacted copy of an affidavit underlying the FBI raid, which Reinhart released on Friday.
The affidavit said that the raid was at least partly driven by a review of boxes Trump sent to the National Archives and Records Administration in January. Officials had informed Trump last year that removing boxes of documents from the White House before leaving office constituted a violation of the Presidential Records Act.
Biden denied on Wednesday that he had been aware of the raid before it began. “I didn’t have any advance notice. None. Zero. Not one single bit,” Biden said, combining his thumb and forefinger to form a zero for emphasis.
According to a recent poll from the Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action, more than 79% of Americans believe that the United States has a two-tiered justice system — “one set of laws for politicians” and “one set of laws for everyday Americans.” Strong majorities of both parties, as well as independents, concurred with the question.