Biden email saga shows risk to Trump from Giuliani
WASHINGTON — A New York tabloid’s puzzling account about how it acquired emails purportedly from Joe Biden’s son has raised some red flags. One of the biggest involves the source of the emails: Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Giuliani has traveled abroad looking for dirt on the Bidens, developing relationships with shadowy figures, including a Ukrainian lawmaker who U. S. officials have described as a Russian agent and part of a broader Russian effort to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee.
Yet Mr. Giuliani says foreign sources didn’t provide the Hunter Biden emails. He says a laptop containing the emails and intimate photos was simply abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and the shop owner reached out to Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer.
That hasn’t stopped the FBI from investigating whether the emails are part of a foreign influence operation. The emails have surfaced as U. S. officials have been warning that Russia, which backed Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign through hacking of Democratic emails and a covert social media campaign, is interfering
again this year. The latest episode with Mr. Giuliani underscores the risk he poses to a White House that spent years confronted by a federal investigation into whether Trump associates had coordinated with Russia.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that intelligence agencies had warned the White House
last year that Mr. Giuliani was the target of a Russian influence operation. The newspaper, citing four former officials, said that assessment was based on information including intercepted communications showing Mr. Giuliani had been in contact with people tied to Russian intelligence.
The newspaper said
national security adviser Robert O’Brien had warned Mr. Trump that information Mr. Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, but that Mr. Trump brushed off the warning.
The New York Post began publishing stories about the emails Wednesday, saying it had obtained them from the former New York mayor.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany displays a copy of the New York Post as she speaks during a news conference at the White House on Sept. 24.