In the latest episode of What Liberals Won’t Ask, Fox Special Report host was interviewing Obama’s former CIA director (and former Democrat congressman) Leon Panetta about the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war. But before it was over, Baier said “I’d be remiss” not to ask about the 2020 campaign and “that letter you signed onto from  former intelligence officials saying that the laptop and e-mails had all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Baier noted the original New York Post story that was so energetically suppressed by the news media and social media. Later, The Washington Post investigated and acknowledged in 2022 the laptop was authentic (as did The New York Times). Baier asked: “Do you have regrets about that now looking back, knowing what you know now?”
Here’s the clip of Leon Panetta telling Bret Baier he has no regrets about the MIS-information that the Hunter Biden laptop was a Russian disinformation operation. He wouldn’t get this question on the lefty networks. pic.twitter.com/rHRDRsaS4H
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) October 13, 2023
Panetta replied: “Look, Bret, I was extremely concerned about Russian interference and misinformation, and we all know intelligence agencies discovered that had Russia had continued to push disinformation across the board, and my concern was to kind of alert the public, to be aware that these disinformation efforts went on. Frankly I haven’t seen any evidence from any intelligence agency that that was not the case.”
“You don’t think that it was real?” Baier asked him, incredulous.
“I think that disinformation is involved, here,” Panetta claimed. “I think Russian disinformation is part of what we’re seeing everywhere. I don’t trust the Russians. And that’s exactly why I was concerned that the public not trust the Russians either.”
Baier was stunned enough to kick the tire on more time: “I don’t want to dwell on this because we have bigger things to talk about and bigger urgency, but obviously Hunter Biden said it was his laptop and this investigation continues. So you don’t have any regrets about doing what you did?”
Panetta smiled and said “No, I don’t have any regrets about not trusting the Russians.”
At the end of the show, Baier brought back pundits to assess the answer.
At the end of “Special Report,” Fox’s Bret Baier asked Mollie Hemingway, Byron York, and Jeff Mason (Reuters) for final thoughts on Panetta’s stunning refusal to acknowledge that the Hunter Biden laptop was authentic and not a Russian disinformation plot. pic.twitter.com/wY02tryFB3
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) October 14, 2023
Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist said “it’s shocking and appalling” that Panetta had no regrets, and that those same people spread the disinformation “falsely alerting Donald Trump had stolen the 2016 election by colluding with Russia.” She added “It’s a horrible people thing can’t trust intelligence agencies” because of plots like this.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner added, “The answer he gave. which was ‘it hasn’t been proved false,’ was exactly the defense that many Democrats made of the [Steele] dossier as well. And you would think that Leon Panetta might be in a position to actually acknowledge the truth here. He’s not angling for another job in government. His reputation is secure. So what this tells me is they’re never gonna give an inch on the whole Russia fallacy.”