Who Is Sam Harris? Writer Admits to Ignoring Hunter Biden Laptop

Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris raised eyebrows on Twitter on Thursday over comments he made about Hunter Biden, saying that his alleged laptop controversy was less significant than the potential damage Donald Trump could do to "democracy."

"Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement, I would not have cared," Harris told Trigger Pod hosts Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster in a video clip that has been viewed online over 2.1 million times on Twitter.

President Joe Biden's son has been a repeated source of controversy, beginning with a New York Post story published just prior to the 2020 election that publicized emails allegedly showing Hunter Biden arranging a meeting between a Ukrainian business associate and his father in April 2015, and urging Biden's "influence" in May 2014.

The report garnered even more attention when both Facebook and Twitter restricted the reach of the post on their social media networks.

Sam Harris Hunter Biden Comments
Above, Sam Harris, the well-known atheist and author of the book "End of Faith," speaks about religion and faith at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California on March 21, 2007. Comments made by Harris regarding Hunter Biden and Donald Trump have garnered attention from conservatives due to a potential double standard. Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

Harris argued in the 90-plus minute podcast episode, titled "Trump, Religion, Wokeness," that Hunter Biden's actions should not be compared with those of the former president who is currently involved in various legal battles, including accusations of hiding classified documents at his Florida home.

Kisin told Newsweek that Harris' comments were in response to the hosts asking him why he broke ranks with many former friends over Trump, as well as why he celebrated Twitter's ban of the former president.

"Whatever the scope of what Joe Biden's corruption is–we can just go down that rabbit hole endlessly and understand that he's getting kickbacks from Hunter Biden's deals in Ukraine or wherever else, or China–it is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in. It's like a firefly to the sun," Harris said during the interview.

"It doesn't even stack up against Trump University," he continued. "Trump University, as a story, is worse than anything that could be in Hunter Biden's laptop in my view."

After Harris said the social media channels limiting the reach of the New York Post story was "a left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump" that was "warranted," Kisin followed up by asking if Harris was content with such a conspiracy.

"It doesn't matter what part's conspiracy, what part's out in the open," Harris replied. "If people get together and talk about what should we do about this phenomenon...if there was an asteroid hurtling toward Earth and we got in a room together with all of our friends and had a convo about what we could do to reflect its course, is that a conspiracy?"

Harris issued a response via Twitter on Thursday afternoon after saying he didn't speak "very clearly" in his comments, saying he "was essentially arguing for a principle of self-defense (where there's a continuum of proportionate force that is appropriate and necessary to use)."

"On the podcast, I was speaking narrowly about the wisdom and propriety of ignoring the Hunter Biden laptop story until after the election," Harris wrote. "I've always thought that this was a very hard call, ethically and journalistically...Nothing I said on that podcast was meant to suggest that the Democrats would have been right to commit election fraud or take other illegal measures to deny Trump the presidency (nor do I think they did that)."

Attorney Alan Dershowitz told the conservative media outlet Newsmax in April that Hunter Biden simply mentioning his father in emails was not grounds for incriminating the current president.

Kisin, who describes himself politically as being in the center while Foster "is an old school leftie with some 'small C' conservative views, said "there was a respectful conversation about (Harris') views" as is customary on their podcast–which does not entertain "gotcha" questions and the like.

He admitted to finding Harris' comments regarding Hunter Biden "surprising."

"Neither of us share his views but it's really important that he had the space to express them," Kisin said. "We were on Joe Rogan's show a few weeks ago and I learned that from him: the most important thing is to let people express themselves. Then you can disagree and discuss.

"I thought we pushed back on him respectfully and also forcefully. It's now for the viewers to make up their mind about what they watched."

Asked about the reactions to the interview, noticeably on networks like Twitter, Kisin said he and Foster both thought it would garner plenty of attention for comments regarding the Trump Twitter ban.

"But also Sam made a lot of points we thought were important and agreed with, particularly about wokeness being a disaster," Kisin said, adding that a paywalled portion of the interview included questions about Harris' "controversial COVID stance" that led to a "robust debate" due to his being in favor of vaccine mandates.

Newsweek reached out to Harris for comment.