Recent revelations that President Joe Biden kept classified government documents at his two namesake think tanks, his Delaware home and even his garage have largely been treated with a yawn by big media. But average Americans are paying attention and worry that Biden’s careless stewardship of classified documents endangers U.S. national security, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
In our national online I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,358 adults, taken from Feb. 1-3, we asked Americans two questions, the first being: “How closely are you following the story about classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President found at his former office and home?”
As it turns out, Americans are paying pretty close attention to the story. Among those responding to the I&I/TIPP Poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points, 60% said they were “closely” following the developments.
Among those following closely, 26% said they were following “very closely,” versus 34% who said “somewhat closely.”
Meanwhile, just 36% of Americans said they were not following the news closely, with 22% saying they were following it “not very closely” and only 13% saying “not at all closely.”
So it’s definitely a topic in the public eye.
The poll followed up with a second question: “How concerned are you that classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President found at his former office and home may have jeopardized national security?”
The response was even stronger than for the first question. Some 69%, or just over two-thirds of all those following the story, said they were either “very concerned” (40%) or “somewhat concerned” (29%) about the apparent breach of classified document secrecy.
And the concern was tri-partisan, with Democrats (61%), Republicans (89%), and independents (60%) all 60% or more.
Indeed, among all of the various groups tracked by the I&I/TIPP Poll, a majority in only one group said it was not concerned about the potential damage from the irresponsible handling of classified secrets: those who self-described as “liberal.”
Among the liberals, 51% said they weren’t concerned, compared to 48% who said they were. Still close, and almost within the margin of error. For self-described “conservatives” the comparable numbers were 90% and 9%, while for “moderates” it was 61% and 37%, about in the middle of the conservatives and liberals.
Nor were there big differences by race. For white Americans, it was 67% “concerned” versus 32% “not concerned,” while blacks and Hispanics lined up 72% and 26%.
The point is, Americans seem to be taking the classified documents scandal seriously.
The scandal has grown in recent weeks, after it was first announced on Jan. 9 that confidential documents were found by Biden’s attorneys on Nov. 2 at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, nearly a week before the midterm elections. Yet it took until January to reveal it.
Further classified documents were discovered by Biden’s own lawyers in the unsecured garage of his Wilmington, Delaware, home on Dec. 20. That was followed by a wider search of Biden’s Delaware home a full month later, on Jan. 20, when even more classified documents were found.
Between those two events, on Jan. 12, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel, former federal prosecutor Robert Hur, to head the investigation into the documents.
These issues are coming to a boil, as revelations tumble out over Biden’s outside family business affairs while vice president up to the present day.
One example: Biden’s namesake think tank, the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, has been deluged with millions of dollars of donations from foreign nations, including China:
“Since the Biden Institute was established in 2017, the University of Delaware has received $6,704,250 in funding from China, $23,610,996 from Saudi Arabia, $2,513,646 from Oman and $1,673,847 from Turkey, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education,” wrote the Washington Free Beacon.
The question arises: Did Biden use troves of classified material to encourage such giving? Did he use it as leverage for family business interests overseas, to the detriment of our national security?
Biden and his White House spokespeople have repeatedly said the president has nothing to do with the business dealings of his son Hunter and his brother James.
Yet, in an appearance before the House’s new Select Subcommittee on Political Weaponization, long-time Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley noted that information from federal whistleblowers “make clear the FBI has within its possession very significant, impactful, and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter and James Biden.”
Grassley added: “These disclosures also allege that Joe Biden was aware of Hunter Biden’s business arrangements and may have been involved in some of them.”
This was confirmed three years ago by Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski.
One clear example: Son Hunter served on the board of directors of Ukraine-based energy company Burisma from 2014 to 2019, overlapping with father Joe’s time as vice president. With no previous experience in the energy industry, Hunter pulled down an estimated $50,000 a month from the giant gas company.
At the time Hunter joined the board, Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, was the focus of an investigation by Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.
“The U.S. threatened to withhold roughly $1 billion in loan guarantees if Shokin was not replaced as prosecutor general, a message Joe Biden delivered to officials in Kyiv while serving as vice president and recounted during a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations conference,” The Hill wrote in 2021.
“Their (Biden and others’) support allowed Burisma to create the perception that it was backed by powerful Americans at a time when Ukraine was especially dependent on aid and strategic backing from the United States and its allies, according to people who worked in Ukraine at the time,” the New York Times reported.
There are numerous other examples of Biden family members raking in millions from Chinese, Russian and Saudi Arabian “business” and government sources.
Just last week, for instance, the British Daily Mail reported that “Affidavits claim Joe’s younger brother Jim was at the center of a $140 million settlement between a U.S. construction company and Saudi Arabia in 2012” and that “Biden was selected because Saudi Arabia ‘would not dare stiff the brother of the Vice-President who would be instrumental to the deal.”
Was it all made possible, or at least facilitated, by the classified document trove Biden controlled? What purpose did the classified material serve? Americans seem vitally interested, as our poll shows, especially in the danger that the unprotected classified documents pose to American security.
I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP’s reputation for polling excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.
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Geopolitics And Geoeconomics
#1. U.S. Believes Russia Had Failed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Test Around When Biden Was In Ukraine – CNN
Russia tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears to have failed when President Joe Biden was in Ukraine on Monday, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Russia notified the United States in advance of the launch through deconfliction lines. The test did not pose a risk to the United States, and the U.S. did not view the test as an anomaly or an escalation.
Officials said that the test of the heavy SARMAT missile – nicknamed the Satan II in the West and capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads – appears to have failed.
President Vladimir Putin says Russia will suspend participation in the New START nuclear arms control treaty – the last accord with the United States.
In a national address on Feb 21, Putin claimed Ukraine and its allies had started the war and insisted that he would not withdraw from his invasion. Between the two of them, the U.S. and Russia still account for about 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin on Monday accused several unnamed officials of refusing to provide the group with key arms supplies out of personal animosity toward him.
On Tuesday, he came down heavily on some of the Russian top brass, calling their acts “treason.”
He accused Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the nation’s most senior soldier, Valery Gerasimov, of trying to destroy the Wagner group by deliberately putting roadblocks in ammunition supplies.
Wagner said with the ongoing opposition from the officials over the arms supply. The group is suffering setbacks in its fight in the town of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
President Putin revoked a 2012 decree that in part underpinned Moldova’s sovereignty in resolving the future of the Transdniestria region – a Moscow-backed separatist region that borders Ukraine and where Russia keeps troops.
The order revoking the 2012 document was published on the Kremlin’s website and states that the decision was taken to “ensure the national interests of Russia in connection with the profound changes taking place in international relations.”
Alexandru Flenchea, Moldovan chairman of the joint control commission in the security zone around Transdniestria, said the cancellation did not mean that Putin was abandoning the notion of Moldovan sovereignty.
#5. Hours After Putin’s Suspension Announcement, Russia Says Will Comply With New START Treaty – WION
Hours after Russian President Putin announced the suspension of nuclear arms treaty, Moscow clarified it would continue observing restrictions on nuclear warheads under the New START treaty.
Earlier, Putin, in his state of the nation address, said that Moscow was suspending the major remaining nuclear arms control treaty after accusing the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
Citing people familiar with the plan, the Wall Street Journal said that the Xi-Putin summit was part of a Chinese effort to play a more active role in bringing the year-old war to an end and part of a push for multi-party peace talks.
China will also use the summit to reiterate calls that nuclear weapons should not be used.
Preparations for the trip are at an early stage, and the timing has not been finalized, the report said, adding that Xi’s visit might take place in April or early May when Russia celebrates its World War Two victory over Nazi Germany.
Taiwan’s FM Joseph Wu met with senior U.S. officials near Washington, marking the island’s top diplomat’s first visit to the capital area since the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
At a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing resolutely opposes “any form of U.S.-Taiwan official exchanges” and has lodged solemn representations with Washington over the Taiwan delegation’s visit.
Regulators have told major Chinese tech companies not to offer ChatGPT services to the public amid growing alarm in Beijing over the AI-powered chatbot’s uncensored replies to user queries.
Tencent Holdings and Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, have been instructed not to offer access to ChatGPT services on their platforms, either directly or via third parties, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
During the first security dialogue by senior officials from the two nations in four years in Tokyo, Japan and China also agreed to facilitate mutual communication in the defense field amid a spat over suspected spy balloons flown by Beijing.
Japanese Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Shigeo Yamada discussed the Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the ruling Communist Party’s intensifying military activities in collaboration with Russia.
Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong sought a “responsible explanation” about Japan’s recently revised policy documents that call for a reinforcement of the security alliance with the United States.
The Philippines and Australia discussed pursuing joint patrols in the South China Sea days after the country held similar talks with the U.S. on the need to counter China in the strategic waterway.
With some overlapping maritime claims, the Philippines is ramping up its attempts to counter what it describes as China’s “aggressive activities” in the South China Sea, which has also become a flashpoint for Chinese and U.S. tensions around naval operations.
Germany has declared two employees of the Iranian Embassy in Berlin personae non gratae and ordered them to leave the country, a statement from the foreign office said.
The decision was announced after an Iranian court sentenced German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd to death.
Germany also summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires over the verdict, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
Iran accuses the 67-year-old Sharmahd of leading an armed pro-monarchist group that it says carried out a deadly terror attack at a mosque in Shiraz in 2008.
A U.S.-led call for the U.N. Security Council to take action over North Korea’s recent spate of missile launches, which included an ICBM test over the weekend, was impeded by Russia and China.
China’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dai Bing said at the Security Council briefing that North Korea has “long been facing enormous security pressure, challenges, and threats.”
Russia said that increased military drills and the deployment of U.S. assets such as nuclear submarines and bombers to the Korean Peninsula were causing a “vicious circle.”
Tanzania’s government approved the construction of the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) that would transport crude from oil fields being developed in Lake Albert, in northwestern Uganda, to a Tanzanian port on the Indian Ocean.
The underground heated pipeline is set to become the longest when completed, expected in 2025, and has been held up as an economic opportunity for both countries.
But the Lake Albert region is one of the world’s most biodiverse. Rights groups and environmental campaigners say the project threatens the region’s fragile ecosystem and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.
SAE Renewables announced that a tidal energy array off the northern coast of Scotland is the first facility of its kind to generate 50 gigawatt-hours of electricity over its lifespan.
To put the 50 gigawatt-hours in perspective, the total capacity of all other tidal energy arrays in the world accounts for less than 50% of what’s been produced from the MeyGen facility off the coast of Scotland.
The Scottish government has focused on novel renewable energy sources for years, with German energy company RWE starting a prototype for turbines that run on wave energy in the early 2010s.
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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights