Politics Giuliani's 'October Surprise' already shows signs of backfiring
Rudy Giuliani taking hydroxychloroquine to fend off COVID-19 despite safety concerns
NEW YORK - Rudy Giuliani will apparently never get off the hydroxychloroquine train. The ex-New York mayor told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that he's taking the anti-malarial drug as a preventative measure against COVID-19 - even though U.S. regulators advise against it over concerns that the medication can cause serious side effects. The ex-New York mayor told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that he’s taking the anti-malarial drug as a preventative measure against COVID-19 — even though U.S. regulators advise against it over concerns that the medication can cause serious side effects.
It was a couple of years ago when Steve Bannon wassaying, "The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with s--t."
With this in mind, you probably heard this week from your weird relatives who consume conservative media all day, with emails about a New York Post story that was. The details are -- they involve Hunter Biden, a Ukrainian gas company, an alleged laptop, some alleged emails, and an unnamed shop owner in Delaware -- which the conservative tabloid learned of by way of Bannon and Rudy Giuliani.
Experts dismiss "garbage fire" Hunter Biden exposé in NY Post: "Seems like a complete fabrication"
"It's a garbage fire story with obscene numbers of legal holes and flaws," one expert tells Salon Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Brooks Kraft/Getty Images
The problem -- one of them, anyway -- is that the underlying premise of the allegationsquite a while ago, which is why most major news organizations had the good sense to steer clear of the New York Post's report.
Making matters worse is the fact that this effort to "flood the zone with s--t" appears to be backfiring. NBC Newsovernight:
Federal investigators are examining whether the emails allegedly describing activities by Joe Biden and his son Hunter and found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop are linked to a foreign intelligence operation, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
What was apparently intended to be Giuliani's "October Surprise" is looking like the product of a Russian intelligence operation directed at the U.S. presidential election. Indeed, the New York Times hadon this a couple of days ago:
Intelligence officials warned Trump that Giuliani was target of Russian influence campaign: report
Intelligence officials warned President Trump that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was the target of an influence campaign conducted by Russian intelligence, The Washington Post reported Thursday.Four former officials familiar with the matter told the Post that the intelligence officers were worried that the president's personal lawyer was being used to pass Russian misinformation to Trump.The intelligence community reportedly learned of the campaign through multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that determined Giuliani was communicating with people tied to Russian intelligence during his 2019 trip to Ukraine.
Some security experts expressed skepticism about the provenance and authenticity of the emails. The Times reported last January that Burisma had been hacked by the same Russian GRU unit that was one of two groups that hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Last month, United States intelligence analysts contacted several people with knowledge of the Burisma hack for further information after they had picked up chatter that stolen Burisma emails would be leaked in the form of an "October surprise."
If this sounds quite a bit like the scheme that unfolded four years ago around this time, it's not your imagination.
Video: Trump’s White House in ‘confusion,' ‘devastated’ journalists say (MSNBC)
The Washington Post alsoovernight that U.S. intelligence agencies "warned the White House last year that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence." U.S. officials "raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president."
Trump shrugged and said 'that's Rudy' when warned Giuliani was being targeted by Russian agents with disinformation, report says
Trump was warned in December about Giuliani's activities in Ukraine, where Russian agents pushed smears about Joe Biden, the Washington Post said.The report details Giuliani's ties with Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who in August was listed as a Russian agent by the US Treasury and subjected to sanctions.
The article added, "The former officials said Giuliani was not a target of U.S. surveillance while in Ukraine but was dealing with suspected Russian assets who were, leading to the capture of some of his communications."
In other words, U.S. officials weren't spying on Giuliani; they were surveilling suspected Russian assets -- who ended up having interactions with the American president's personal attorney.
As Rachel summarized on the show last night, "So this is where we are: 19 days to the election. At least 15 million Americans have already voted. The president`s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has been picked up by the U.S. intelligence community in intercepts because he has been talking to Russian intelligence about a Russian intelligence operation to dump fake documents into the U.S. bloodstream right before the election to try to re-elect Donald Trump."
This week's revelations were supposed to make Joe Biden look bad. Instead, they're proving to be a far bigger problem for his GOP accusers.
Hunter Biden's ex-partner says Joe Biden was involved in China deal .
Tony Bobulinski told the New York Post on Wednesday that he personally witnessed Joe Biden discuss business deals with his son, Hunter, contradicting claims by the former vice president. 'I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business.‘I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.