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FBI Knew of Russian Influence Operation to Harm Biden, But Didn’t tell Giuliani He Was One of the Targets of the Campaign

By Allan Lengel

The Washington Post issued this Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings.

The report now says the FBI knew of OAN and Giuliani were targets, but did not warn them.


Earlier Version

We continue to hear the backstory of the 2020 election.

Rudy Giuliani

The FBI warned Rudolph W. Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation designed to circulate false information to to harm Joe Biden’s chance of winning the presidency, the Washington Post reports.

Post reports Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris and Tom Hamburger report:

The warning was part of an extensive effort by the bureau to alert members of Congress and at least one conservative media outlet, One America News, that they faced a risk of being used to further Russia’s attempt to influence the election’s outcome, said several current and former U.S. officials. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains highly sensitive.

Not everyone took the warning seriously, including Sen. Ron Johnson, who told the Post:

“Regarding reports that I received an FBI briefing warning me that I was a target of Russian disinformation, I can confirm I received such a briefing in August of 2020,” Johnson said in a statement to The Washington Post. “I asked the briefers what specific evidence they had regarding this warning, and they could not provide me anything other than the generalized warning. Without specific information, I felt the briefing was completely useless and unnecessary (since I was fully aware of the dangers of Russian disinformation).

“Because there was no substance to the briefing, and because it followed the production and leaking of a false intelligence product by Democrat leaders, I suspected that the briefing was being given to be used at some future date for the purpose that it is now being used: to offer the biased media an opportunity to falsely accuse me of being a tool of Russia despite warnings.”


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