Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was caught making an apparently new questionable claim about the work that his son, Hunter Biden, did while working at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
In an interview late last week with NPR, Biden claimed that no one ever warned him about the work that his son was doing on the board of Burisma while Biden was the point person for the Obama administration in trying to root out corruption in the Eastern European nation.
NPR “Morning Edition” host Rachel Martin said to Biden: “You know it didn’t look good for Hunter Biden to be on that board, even if he did nothing wrong. The optics weren’t good. And you talk a lot about what it means to be a Biden and the integrity that is imbued in that family name. But there were former White House aides of yours who tried to warn you about the potential conflicts of interest.”
Biden responded: “Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that. And at the same time —”
“George Kent, the State Department official, testified that he raised it to you, and your staff,” Martin replied.
“No, he didn’t say me,” Biden claimed. “He did not say me.”
“To your staff,” Martin noted. “To your staff, I stand corrected. To your staff. And your staff told him he has no bandwidth for family matters.”
“I never, never heard that once at all,” Biden claimed. “Well, my son was dying, so I guess that’s why he said it, because my son was on his deathbed. But that, that’s not the reason why – they should have told me.”
“And the fact of the matter is, my son testified and did an interview saying if he, looking back on it, made a mistake, he made a mistake although he did nothing wrong,” Biden continued. “The appearance looked bad and it gave folks like Rudy Giuliani an excuse to come up with a Trumpian kind of defense, why they were violating the Constitution. His, his words speak for themselves.”
In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”
At the end of November, Vogel said on a New York Times podcast that Burisma got its “rationale” to put Hunter Biden on its board because of Joe Biden’s position in the U.S. government and his activities in Ukraine for the Obama administration.