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Hunter Biden laptop story off limits, CNN producers were told

FPI / December 4, 2020

Project Veritas on Tuesday released undercover audio in which CNN chief Jeff Zucker is heard instructing his staff to downplay the New York Post's bombshell Hunter Biden laptop story that implicated Joe Biden in a foreign influence-peddling scheme.

On Oct. 14, the day the Post published the story, CNN political director David Chalian is heard telling Zucker and his staff that CNN would not cover the story.

“Obviously, we’re not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden,” said Chalian. “We’ll just continue to report out this is the very stuff that the president was impeached over . . . that Senate committees looked at and found nothing wrong in Joe Biden’s interactions with Ukrainians.”

Two days after the New York Post broke the Biden laptop story, CNN trotted out James Clapper, one of the contributors it pays to push the debunked conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump was a Russian agent. Clapper told CNN the Post's story was “textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft.”

The week after the bombshell report, Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinksi held a press conference and produced documents claiming Joe Biden had actively engaged in his family's scheme to make millions of dollars from communist China. He revealed that Joe Biden was the “big guy” referred to in a Hunter email who was to receive a 10 percent cut of one of the Chinese deals.

"Here was further evidence that Joe had been lying about his involvement in his family’s shady business," New York Post columnist Miranda Devine noted on Dec. 2.

The day after the Bobulinski story broke, at CNN’s 9 a.m. news conference call Zucker again issued orders to bury it, the Project Veritas recordings show.

“On the Breitbart, New York Post, Fox News rabbit hole of Hunter Biden, which I don’t think anybody outside of that world understood last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that their review of all corporate records showed no role for Joe Biden on the Chinese deal,” Zucker said. “And yes, I do put more credibility in the Wall Street Journal than I do in the New York Post.”

As Devine noted, "that was how the story was killed."

In another records, David Vigilante, general counsel for CNN, is heard telling Zucker: “Hey, Jeff, it’s just David on the Burisma story. We should be awfully careful about that obviously, but I do think there’s a media story in what in the world are [the New York Times’] Maggie Haberman and [Politico’s] Jake Sherman doing retweeting that story?”

Sherman would go on to apologize and delete his tweet, saying: “My goal was not to spread [the story]. My goal was to raise questions.”

Devine noted: "You see here how CNN acts as a sheepdog to shame and coerce reporters from other organizations to stick to the approved narrative."

Devine added: "What made our story all the more compelling that first day was the feeble response from Joe’s campaign. Initially, they said there was no record of any such meeting on his 'official schedule,' but finally admitted that an 'informal' meeting with Burisma may have occurred. On no planet is that not news."

Two weeks after the election, Devine pointed out that an ongoing Senate inquiry into Hunter Biden and his business dealings released new findings that identified $6 million transferred from a Chinese government entity to a business associate of Hunter.

"This story is even more important now," Devine noted. If Joe Biden "lied about his family’s lucrative business dealings with China, it makes him vulnerable to extortion. This is what used to be called news."

Carter Clews on the podcast said on Dec. 2 that a New York City publishing source confided that Zucker had threatened to fire anyone at CNN who ever said anything positive about Trump.

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