In his first interview alongside his wife Jill since moving into the White House, President Joe Biden promised that “no one” in their family would “be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy.”
According to Fox News, President Biden told People Magazine that he plans to run his administration “like the Obama–Biden administration,” an apparent snub of his immediate predecessor.
The president’s comments come after months of scrutiny on his family and, in particular, his son Hunter, over allegedly nefarious business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere. Some had also alleged Hunter Biden used his father’s then-position as vice president as leverage to turn a profit, reports noted.
In December 2020, Hunter Biden said in a statement released by his father’s transition team that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware had opened an investigation into his “tax affairs.”
“I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,” Hunter Biden said at the time, according to NPR.
“Nobody has an office in this place”
But according to Politico, it’s not just Hunter’s taxes that have caught federal investigators’ eyes. The outlet reported in December:
In addition to Delaware, the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances, according to the person with direct knowledge of the investigation. The person said that, as of early last year, investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties.
The president didn’t delve into that in his talk with People, opting instead to keep his response to a question about “putting up guardrails for family and friends…to avoid any appearance of wrongdoing” brief.
“No one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy. And nobody has an office in this place,” the president said, according to Fox.
Biden’s big plans
President Biden also spoke during his talk with People about where he hopes the country will be one year into the future — although he didn’t say much about his plans for getting there.
Perhaps the “dozens of executive orders” that People says the president has signed off on in his first weeks in the Oval Office provide a hint in that regard.
“I hope we have fundamentally returned to normal as it relates to COVID — and it’s going to be hard, because they’re predicting another 100,000 [to] 150,000 dead unless we take precautions, even with the vaccine,” the president told People.
“I hope we have really begun to make inroads on equity for all people…where they can have decent jobs and decent opportunities, and the economy is growing, and people are back to a degree of optimism,” he added.