Science, Technology, and Social Media

One Month Before Hunter Biden Laptop Story, Twitter Execs And Journalists War-Gamed An Eerily Similar Scenario

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Twitter and Meta executives, as well as journalists from a variety of mainstream media outlets, participated in a training excercise regarding a potential leak of data related to Hunter Biden that had similarities with a New York Post story published roughly one month later, according to internal documents published by author Michael Shellenberger as part of Elon Musk’s ongoing “Twitter Files.”

The Post’s original Oct. 14, 2020, story was based on a laptop, apparently belonging to Biden, containing a 2015 email that linked then-Vice President Joe Biden to his son Hunter’s business dealings with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. At an unspecified date in September, a training exercise hosted by the Aspen Institute titled “The Burisma Leak,” outlined a potential timeline of events following a hypothetical Oct. 5, 2020 hack and leak of Burisma documents showing Hunter receiving more compensation than previously reported for his work with the company and communicating with his father about the firm.

The Aspen Institute excercise imagines a hypothetical timeline between Oct. 5, 2020 to Oct. 15, 2020, where a cache of documents implies that the Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, Shellenberger reported. The purpose of this training exercise was to “shape how the media covered it — and how social media carried it,” according to Shellenberger.

The meeting was headed by Vivian Schiller, the former CEO of NPR and head of news at Twitter, and was attended by security executives at Meta and Twitter and reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post, according to Shellenberger.

In actuality, the Post’s story contained an email — verified shortly thereafter by the Daily Caller News Foundation — which alleged that the then-vice president had met with Burisma executives, contradicting his claims to contrary. Another email from a Burisma executive to Hunter Biden, published by the New York Post, asks for “advice” in stopping “politically motivated actions” against the company, stressing that damage to Burisma “may result in multy-level [sic] negative social,econimical and political consequnces. [sic]”

Leaked audio in 2020 and a public statement in 2018 from Joe Biden suggest that Joe Biden was instrumental in securing Shokin’s ouster in 2016. Biden has denied any wrongdoing by him or his son.

Shokin was investigating Burisma at the time for behavior that took place before Hunter Biden joined the company.

The Aspen Institute and Twitter did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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