CNN anchor Jake Tapper appears to have offered a mea culpa of sorts as the 2024 presidential campaign cycle gets underway.
In an interview on the podcast “On with Kara Swisher,” Tapper vowed to cover first son Hunter Biden and, presumably, the various scandals associated with him, after avoiding them during the 2020 cycle, most notably by ignoring damning revelations stemming from the now-infamous laptop.
When questioned about the recent plea agreement reached by President Biden’s son with the Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning his tax crimes, Tapper addressed the criticisms surrounding the plea agreement. Critics have denounced it as a “sweetheart deal,” especially given recent IRS whistleblower claims alleging that prosecutors were prevented from pursuing more severe charges and investigators were instructed to avoid exploring potential financial connections between Hunter and his father, President Joe Biden.
“I think we cover it. We have been covering it, and we need to cover it,” Tapper remarked.
“Look, I mean, Hunter Biden is who he is. It’s pretty clear who he is,” Tapper added. “In addition to being an addict, he’s a guy who ethically has – there have been questions raised about his behavior, and I think it’s worth covering.
“It’s also worth covering in context, the context of everything that’s being said in terms of like how fact-based any of it is or how evidence-based any of it is, but I’m not gonna shy away from covering Hunter Biden. He is the president’s son and has made a lot of money being the president’s son,” he noted further.
Fox News noted the change of heart:
Tapper’s sentiments in July 2023 are certainly not the same as those in October 2020, in the days following the New York Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop that shed light on his shady foreign business dealings, including mention of “10% for the big guy,” which is widely believed to be Joe Biden.
“The right-wing is going crazy with all sorts of allegations about Biden and his family. Too disgusting to even repeat here,” Tapper told a panelist at the time. “I mean, some of the ones I’ve seen from the president’s son and some of the president’s supporters are just wildly unhinged.”
According to Grabien transcripts, Tapper’s CNN programs did not make any references to terms such as “laptop,” “New York Post,” or “Tony Bobulinski” in the days following the news about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Bobulinski, who was Hunter’s former business partner, had come forward during that time to confirm the authenticity of the emails from the laptop and assert that the former vice president was involved in their business dealings. The New York Post was the first outlet to report contents found on the laptop.
That said, Tapper did have multiple correspondents and guests on the air with him who peddled the false narrative that the content was “Russian disinformation” and a “right-wing conspiracy.”
According to an audiotape released by Project Veritas, Tapper may have been adhering to directives from his then-superior Jeff Zucker and CNN political director David Chalian. The tape revealed that the network had instructed its staff to disregard the laptop story, Fox News reported.
“Obviously, we’re not going with the New York Post story right now on Hunter Biden,” Chalian said on the audio recording during a conference call, the same day The Post’s first report was published. He later claimed the report was “giving its marching orders” to the “right-wing echo chamber about what to talk about today.”
In October 2022, during a rare interview with President Biden, Tapper only lobbed a single softball question at him regarding Hunter after reports said the DOJ was pursuing tax and gun charges.
“Personally and politically, how do you react to that?” Tapper asked before moving on.
He was also one of the biggest champions of the false ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ narrative as well, giving legitimacy to the “Steele Dossier,” a debunked collection of salacious claims against Trump that was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.