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US authorities investigating if recently published emails are tied to Russian disinformation effort targeting Biden

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - SEPTEMBER 02: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks on the coronavirus pandemic during a campaign event September 2, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden spoke on safely reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

US authorities are investigating whether recently published emails that purport to detail the business dealings of Joe Biden's son in Ukraine and China are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting the former vice president's campaign, a US official and a congressional source briefed on the matter said.

(CNN)US authorities are investigating whether recently published emails that purport to detail the business dealings of Joe Biden's son in Ukraine and China are connected to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting the former vice president's campaign, a US official and a congressional source briefed on the matter said.

The conservative-leaning New York Post claimed in a series of articles this week that it obtained "smoking-gun" emails about Hunter Biden and his dealings in Ukraine.

The specific new allegations touch on the same topics as the Kremlin's ongoing disinformation campaign against the Bidens, which the US intelligence community said this summer was intended to weaken Biden's candidacy against Trump.

The New York Post says it obtained the emails through two Trump confidants: His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Several experts on foreign disinformation quickly warned that there were major red flags about the articles published by the New York Post, including Giuliani's involvement, the changing stories about how the emails were obtained, and the digital metadata of images posted by the newspaper.

One of the New York Post articles claims there is a "smoking-gun email" about an alleged meeting in 2015 between Joe Biden and an executive from Burisma, where Hunter Biden was on the board.

In response to the articles, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, "We have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place. "

It says the alleged meeting in 2015 was problematic because Joe Biden "pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating" Burisma.

"The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story," Bates, the Biden campaign spokesman, said in a statement to CNN.

A photo emerged on social media of Trump holding Wednesday's edition of the New York Post, featuring the headline, "BIDEN SECRET E-MAILS. " One of the first people to post the image was Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who has worked with Giuliani to spread conspiracies about the Bidens, and whose visa was recently revoked by the US government.

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