Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has attributed his “swamp[y]” employment with the Ukrainian company Burisma to “poor judgment,” casting it as an act borne from youthful ignorance versus nefarious corruption.
“In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part,” he said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday morning.
“I think that it was poor judgment because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it — I know that there was — [I] did nothing wrong at all. However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is a swamp in many ways? Yeah.”
But, he alleged, his actions while serving on the corruption-linked gas firm Burisma’s executive board were all within the confines of the law.
“Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever. I joined a board, I served honorably. I did — I focused on corporate governance. I didn’t have any discussions with my father before or after I joined the board as it related to it, other than that brief exchange that we had.”
That “brief exchange” was one his father later lied about.
Biden reportedly added that his only mistake was giving President Donald Trump, whom he labeled as “unethical,” an opening to attack his father, who’s running in the 2020 race.
“I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father,” he said. “That’s where I made the mistake.”
It’s unclear what about the president is unethical. It’s also unclear what Biden had been referencing when he spoke of acting “in illegal ways.” If he meant the president’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, numerous pieces of evidence have already shown that there was nothing malicious about the call.
He further classified the president’s concerns over his and his father’s alleged corruption as a “conspiracy.”
“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this — this ridiculous conspiracy idea,” he said.
The “ridiculous conspiracy idea” — one first broached by renowned ABC News’ investigative reporter Tom Llamas — concerns the inexplicable coincidences that have dotted the senior Biden’s career in politics.
Three weeks after then-VP Biden traveled to Ukraine in 2014, the younger Biden — who for the record had just been “discharged from the Navy Reserves for testing positive for cocaine” — suddenly scored an extremely high-paying gig with Burisma.
Then two years ago, as the firm was being investigated by then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, all of a sudden the VP threatened to withdraw $1 billion in aid unless Ukrainian officials removed Shokin from his post.
Llamas’ reporting on this “conspiracy” may be seen below:
(Source: ABC News)
So if nothing fishy was going on at Burisma, why did the younger Biden step down from his position on the board in April, ABC News’ Amy Robach asked during her interview with Hunter.
Below is a transcript of that portion of the conversation:
Robach: “Why did you leave the board in April?”
Biden: “It’s a five-year term.”
Robach: “And you chose not to continue?”
Biden: “I chose not to, yeah.”
Biden: “I think it’s pretty obvious why.”
Robach: “This is your opportunity to say why.”
Biden: “Because this is what becomes a distraction because I have to sit here and answer these questions. So that’s why I committed that I won’t serve on any boards or I won’t work directly for any foreign entities when my dad becomes president.”
Yet he waited until just this past weekend to step down from BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund, a Chinese-backed private equity firm that the president suspects may also be linked to corruption.
Despite the younger Biden’s repeated denials of wrongdoing, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan remains unconvinced. And he’s confident that the majority of the American people feel similarly.
“The American people knew right from the get-go this was wrong,” he argued Thursday morning on FNC’s “Fox & Friends.” “The American people understand fairness, they instinctively get this wasn’t fair, this wasn’t proper, this wasn’t right.”
“They know that this stuff smells. The whole arrangement with China. The billion dollars from a subsidiary bank of the Bank of China. This arrangement with Burisma, this company in the Ukraine where Hunter Biden had no experience, didn’t know the language, no experience in the energy sector and not an expert on Ukraine gets this position.”
“I think the American people, again, they saw this for what it is. They know it smells. They know it’s wrong. That’s the facts,” he added.
His full reaction to Biden’s interview may be heard below:
In the interview, Biden did also reportedly admit that he probably would have never been hired by Burisma had it not been for his father.
“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been asked to be on the board of Burisma?” Robach asked him.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” he replied. “But that’s — you know — 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.”
“Because my dad was Vice President of the United States, there’s literally nothing, as a young man or as a full-grown adult that — my father in some way hasn’t had influence over.”
That sounds like an excuse.
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