On Saturday, Politico examined why the efforts within President Donald Trump's circle to push the FBI into launching an investigation of the Biden family — much like the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails that dominated media coverage of the 2016 presidential election — is not working.
"The ingredients are all the same: a seized laptop, leaked emails, insinuations and vague allegations of malfeasance, a hype machine of ardent Trump supporters," reported Tina Nguyen. "The difference, however, is that this time an FBI investigation is not supplying the ingredients. Instead, MAGA adherents are sourcing the ingredients and hoping they summon an FBI investigation. And, of course, the new target is Joe Biden, not Hillary Clinton."
There are many reasons Trump supporters are failing to get their narrative taken seriously this time around, continued the report.
"The Hunter Biden stories have been met with concerns about their veracity from the beginning, whereas there was never doubt over whether Clinton did, in fact, use a private email server during her tenure atop the State Department," said the report. "As a result, most journalists have expressed more caution in their coverage."
"Additionally, former national security officials from both parties are warning that the Hunter Biden revelations bear all the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign. That’s a change from the bipartisan condemnation in 2016 from national security veterans, who said Clinton had potentially exposed her emails to foreign adversaries," said the report. "The personal travails of Biden’s son are also not as widely known as the details of Clinton’s private email server, which were picked apart for years on Capitol Hill and in the press before the 2016 election even reached its peak."
Another simple reason it hasn't stuck: Hunter Biden himself is not the candidate, his father is. And even if Hunter is shown to have engaged in some sort of misconduct — which he has not been — that wouldn't imply his father was in on it.
"Without that legitimacy from a source outside the right wing, the attempt to use Hunter Biden as the 2020 version of Clinton’s emails is highly unlikely to catch on, said [Pollster Mark] Mellman, outside of the die-hard MAGAists who’ve binged-watched that storyline since the beginning of the Democratic presidential primary," concluded the report. "'When [Trump] just talks about a laptop at a debate, most people haven't the slightest idea what he's talking about,' Mellman said."
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