Facebook suppressed The Post’s blockbuster revelation of Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop in response to a vague FBI warning about possible “Russian propaganda” tied to the 2020 presidential election, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The tech billionaire and Meta CEO made the stunning claim during a wide-ranging, nearly three-hour interview in which he also admitted to podcaster Joe Rogan that he regretted the move and admitted that “it sucks.”
“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us — some folks on our team — and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert,’” Zuckerberg said on Thursday’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Zuckerberg said the FBI added, “‘We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”
Zuckerberg told Rogan, “We just kind of thought: Hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view is a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement — they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously.”
In response, Facebook limited sharing of The Post’s October 2020 scoop about the contents of a laptop computer that the first son allegedly left at a Delaware repair shop in April 2019 and never retrieved.
When Rogan asked Zuckerberg if the FBI “specifically” said the social media giant should “be on guard about that story,” the tech titan said he couldn’t recall.
“No, I don’t remember if it was that specifically, but it basically fit the pattern,” he said.
Shortly after The Post published its exclusive report, 51 former US intelligence officials — led by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-CIA Directors Mike Hayden, Leon Panetta and John Brennan — signed an open letter that said the situation “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
That claim came despite the fact that neither Hunter Biden nor his dad Joe Biden’s presidential campaign denied the authenticity of the material on the laptop, which notably includes an email showing that the son introduced his father, now President Biden, to one of his controversial overseas business associates.
The correspondence flies in the face of President Biden’s claim that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post have since confirmed the authenticity of emails on the laptop. The outlets cited sources familiar with a criminal investigation into possible tax fraud and potential wrongdoing by Hunter Biden, as well as an expert who examined a copy of the hard drive.
During his interview with Rogan, Zuckerberg acknowledged that he regretted suppressing The Post’s report, saying, “Yeah, yeah. I mean, it sucks.
“It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false,” he said.
“I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.”
“The FBI routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats. The FBI has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors. The FBI will continue to work closely with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to keep the public informed of potential threats, but the FBI cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received,” the FBI said in a statement.