The FBI has just confirmed that it paid millions of dollars to Twitter to do its bidding and implied that other social media platforms received payments as well, though the Bureau declined to specify which ones, Fox News reported.
That confirmation came in response to two recent installments of the "Twitter Files" that exposed the FBI's use of the platform as a "subsidiary" to do work on its behalf and also revealed that the Bureau paid Twitter millions of dollars in taxpayer money for its efforts.
The Federalist reported on Thursday that the FBI released a statement that confirmed the substance of the recent "Twitter Files" installments, acknowledged that it maintains similar connections with other social media platforms, but quibbled dismissively over certain details that had been revealed.
It was last week that independent journalist Matt Taibi published "Twitter Files, Part Six," in which he documented the extensive and routine collusion between the federal law enforcement agency and its "subsidiary," Twitter, and how the platform would take action on certain accounts and specific tweets flagged for its attention by the FBI.
That was followed a few days later by "Twitter Files: Part 7" from author Michael Shellenberger, which focused largely on the FBI's involvement with Twitter in preemptively downplaying, discrediting, and suppressing the accurate news stories about Hunter Biden and his abandoned laptop, in which it was revealed that the FBI had paid Twitter $3.4 million as compensation for its work on the Bureau's behalf.
46. The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/SmNse97QxK
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
In a broad statement in response to those revelations, according to The Federalist, the an unnamed FBI spokesperson said in a statement, "The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries."
"As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers," the Bureau continued.
"The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency," the spokesperson added, according to Fox News.
Fox News had additional questions for the FBI, though, particularly in regard to the revealed $3.4 million it paid to Twitter, and the Bureau acknowledged that revelation to be correct, though it downplayed it as mere "reimbursement" for things like the "reasonable costs and expenses associated with their response to a legal process … For complying with legal requests, and a standard procedure."
An unnamed official further told the outlet, "We don’t just reimburse Twitter," but declined to identify any of the other social media platforms that it has similarly paid with taxpayer money to do work on its behalf in compliance with its demands and requests.
"While we are not able to speak to specific payments, the government is required to provide reimbursement for reasonable expenses directly related to searching for, assembling, reproducing, or otherwise providing the information responsive to the legal process," the official said. "This requirement is set by federal law and the courts are the final arbiters of what is reasonable compensation."
As for the reported efforts of the FBI to preemptively discredit and suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story through its secretive contacts with Twitter, the FBI insisted to Fox News, "We did not request anything of the sort," and stressed, "We focus on activities attributed to foreign actors, not on the content or narrative."
Pressed further on the matter by the outlet, the Bureau simply reiterated, in defiance of the documented evidence from internal communications, "We did not discuss or provide instruction regarding Hunter Biden's laptop or associated media coverage."