Donald Trump Jr. challenged Hunter Biden to a debate over which of them has seen the most financial benefit from having their fathers in a prominent government position.
President Donald Trump’s eldest son spoke about the issue in an interview for “Axios on HBO,” after Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei pressed him about the potential Democratic nomination of former Vice President Joe Biden and what kind of attacks to expect in the campaign’s future.
Trump Jr. asserted that, unlike Biden’s son, he has not profited from his father’s position as he responded to VandeHei’s request to “synthesize the attack that’s going to come” as Biden potentially faces off against the president in the race to November’s election.
“Off the top of my head, it’s multiple fold, right? First of all, you have sort of just a guy that’s telling us he’s going to do all these things, he’s gonna do them. But he’s been in politics for 50 years. Why hasn’t he done them then?” Trump Jr. asked.
“The second part of that is, you know, if Donald Trump mixed up Iowa and Ohio – once – the media, and you know where I’m going on this one, right guys?” he asked the audience who laughed at the reference to one of many gaffes by the 77-year-old Democratic presidential candidate.
“The media would be on TV, every tele-psychologist would say, ‘Donald Trump has lost his mind. Donald, he’s in the later stages of dementia and a combination of Alzheimer’s. He’s not fit to run.’ Joe Biden doesn’t know what state he’s in 50% of the time,” he added. “If Donald Trump did the equivalent, you would not hear anything other than that.”
But Trump Jr. noted that “a big part” of the attacks the former vice president will eventually face will be about his son Hunter’s dealings with businesses overseas, in particular, with his position on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma while his father was vice president.
“Listen, I think it’s got to be a big part,” Trump Jr. said.
“I was an international business person before my father got into politics. That’s what we did. I’m not going to say I haven’t benefited from my father’s last name, just like Hunter Biden did. I’d be foolish to say that. But I haven’t benefited from my father’s taxpayer-funded office, okay?” he clarified.
“Hunter Biden, his father becomes VP, all of a sudden he goes over to the Ukraine. And he’s making $83 grand a month. So, you know, the media likes to do this sort of false equivalence: ‘You’re doing this, you’re doing that.’ We stopped doing any new international business deals when my father won the presidency,” Trump Jr. said.
“So, you know what would be great? I’ll let you host it,” he told the Axios host.
You moderate a debate between Hunter Biden and myself,” he added as the audience applauded the premise.
“Come on. Let’s do it. No, no, seriously,” Trump Jr. insisted.
“We can go full transparency. We show everything and we can talk about all of the places where I’m supposedly grifting, but Hunter Biden isn’t. I would love to do it,” he added. “As it relates to the grifting, they’re saying we’re profiting off of the presidency. Let’s talk about it.”
“But you profited, don’t you?” VandeHei asked, citing his best-selling book, “Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,’’ which was published in November.
“I don’t know that I’ve profited off of the presidency,” Trump Jr. replied.
“You have a bestselling book,” VandeHei pressed. “You do paid speeches. Don’t you co-own the Trump Hotel?”
“I’ve done paid speeches for over a decade … I don’t even do the international ones,” Trump Jr., who oversees the Trump Organization with his brother Eric Trump, shot back, noting those events are “nothing that I haven’t done before.”
“And again, if you looked at my tax returns, which maybe we could talk about in this debate,” he said.
“So, you’ll release your tax return?” VandeHei asked. “You would release your tax returns, and he would debate you? You would really debate him?”
“I’d 100 percent debate him,” Trump Jr. declared.
“Let’s talk about who profited off of whose public service,” he reiterated. “Happy to do it. Let’s make it happen.”
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