Hunter Biden on Tuesday said he did nothing wrong when he served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, but acknowledged that he likely got high-paying positions on such boards because “I’m the son of the vice president of the United States.”
In his first public statements since the scandal exploded in Washington, Biden told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that it was “poor judgment” on his part to hold the job, which reportedly paid him $50,000 a month. Biden made hundreds of thousands of dollars through his employment with Burisma, the largest private gas company in Ukraine — despite having no real qualifications for the job.
“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would have been asked to be on the board or Burisma?” ABC News’ Amy Robach asked.
“I don’t know, I don’t know, probably not,” Biden said. “It is impossible for me to be on any of the boards that I just mentioned without saying that I’m the son of the vice president of the United States.”
He went further, saying, “I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”
Biden said he never discussed his foreign business interests with his father, either his work at Burisma or his seat on the board of a China-based investment firm from which he resigned over the weekend. And he bristled when asked about how much he has been paid by foreign companies.
“Look, I’m a private citizen,” he said. “What I don’t have to do is sit here and open my kimono as to how it relates to how much money I make … or didn’t, but it’s all been reported.”
He acknowledged, though, that he made a “mistake.”
“You know what, I’m a human and you know what, did I make a mistake?” Biden asked. “Well maybe in the grand scheme of things. But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”
President Trump has hammered Biden, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, over Hunter Biden’s ties to Ukraine and China. “The Biden family was PAID OFF, pure and simple!” Trump wrote on Twitter this month, accusing Hunter Biden of banking $1.5 billion from the Chinese investment firm.
“Look, this is — literally has no basis in fact. In any way,” Biden told Robach, later adding, “No one ever paid me $1.5 billion, and if they had, I would not be doing this interview right now.”
Biden said many of the charges now swirling around him are pure fantasy.
“They feel like they have the license to go out and say whatever they want,” he said. “It’s insane to even — it feels to me like living in some kind of, you know, ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ where you’re up on the real world and then you fall down the rabbit hole, and, you know, the president’s the Cheshire Cat asking you questions about crazy things that don’t bear any resemblance to the reality of anything that has to do with me.”
Biden also said Trump and his dad are different because “my dad doesn’t go after other people’s kids. He just doesn’t. Never has.”
“Being the subject of Donald Trump’s ire is a feather in my cap. It’s not something that I go to bed nervous about at night at all. The reason I’m able to do that is because I am absolutely enveloped in love of my family,” he said.