Psaki On Hunter Meeting Potential Buyers Of His Art: Won’t ‘Discuss Anything Related To The Selling Of Art’
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki arrives in the Brady Press Briefing Room for her daily news conference with reporters at the White House on July 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki was asked about anti-government protests in Cuba, the assassination of the Haitian president and ongoing work to vaccinate people against COVID-19.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the press on Thursday that President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, won’t discuss anything related to sale of his art when he meets with prospective buyers at the art gallery where his art will be sold.

Psaki made the remarks in response to a question from a CBS News report about the matter, which comes after the White House had previously said that the identities of the buyers would be kept a secret from Hunter Biden, the president, the White House, and the public.

Psaki had the following exchange with a reporter:

REPORTER: Also, we now know that Hunter Biden is going to be able to meet with prospective buyers at two art shows where his paintings are going to be on display later this year. How does this square with the goal of keeping him in the dark about the buyers of his art as a means to prevent even the appearance of undue influence?

PSAKI: Well, this showing that was, that you’re referencing, was previously public. He’s not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art, that will be left to the gallerist, as was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago. We believe this is a reasonable system that has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within appropriate safeguards. He’s not going to discuss anything related to the selling of art, and I would reiterate that the gallerist will be the only person who handles transactions or conversations in that vein and will reject any offer that is out of the ordinary.

REPORTER: Wouldn’t it be more transparent to just release the names of the buyers so that everyone would know who purchased this art and how much they paid?

PSAKI: Well, we won’t know who the buyers are. Hunter Biden won’t know who the buyers are. The origin, I think, of this line of questioning, which is understandable, is about whether this would provide a situation for undue influence. But we won’t know who they are, so there’s no scenario where they could provide influence.

REPORTER: Couldn’t they just announce on social media that they bought a painting?

PSAKI: Again, I think we have set up a system, which we feel is appropriate, has appropriate safeguards. We believe that Hunter Biden, just like any child of a president, should be able to pursue their professions and their passions. Any selling of the art would be through the gallerist.


Later in the press conference, Psaki was asked about the deal that the White House reportedly helped craft:

REPORTER: If I can ask a follow-up to the question about the president’s son and the art gallery event. You said that Hunter Biden is not going to discuss anything related to the sale of his art. Is that a promise that has been made in writing? And if so, is that an agreement that could be made available to the public?

PSAKI: I’m making that clear to all of you now that that is an agreement that has been made as a part of these events.

REPORTER: Is it in writing?

PSAKI: I can check and see if there’s more detail. But I think it’s pretty clear what the agreement is. So I’m not sure it’s more complicated than that, but I will see if there’s more to provide.


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