Barr says suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story 'definitely' impacted the 2020 election

The former Attorney General says Americans would have seen "what was going on and how repulsive it was."
Attorney General Barr

Former Attorney General Bill Barr says the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story "definitely" had an impact on the 2020 presidential election.

During a Thursday night appearance on the Fox News Channel's "Jesse Waters Primetime," Barr discussed the campaign to convince the American public, amid the presidential race between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden, that the story about a laptop owned Biden son Hunter Biden by was Russian disinformation. 

"As soon as this letter came out from the so-called intelligence specialists, the DNI, John Ratcliffe at the time, and the FBI – which worked for me – both came out and said this was not the result of Russian disinformation," Barr said. "The media ignored that completely and just kept on going with the disinformation lie."

The letter was signed by more than 50 former U.S. intelligence officials including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Directors Leon Panetta and John Brennan.

Ratcliffe, at the time, said the intelligence community had received no information that reliably supported the theory that the story was Russian disinformation.   

Ultimately, the suppression efforts "definitely made an impact on the election," Barr said.

He also said Hunter Biden's potentially criminal and corrupt conduct, which emails and images on the laptop appear to suggest, is not necessarily the main issue at stake.

"It’s not a question of whether it was criminal or not," Barr said. "Just the facts alone were shameful. And most Americans would immediately see what was going on and how repulsive it was, and it would have had an effect. The issue of criminality is a different issue."

Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings while his father was vice president was also a topic of concern during the 2020 race. 

When the New York Post initially ran the laptop story, which the newspaper said it obtained from former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Twitter blocked the spread of the story by kicking the Post off the platform and not allowing others to share the link.