Despite his efforts to skirt the issue in previous encounters with reporters, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was actually forced to respond during Thursday’s debate to the latest bombshell allegations involving his son’s international business ties.
Although his response might not prove satisfactory to many critics, Biden gave his most direct answer thus far to questions surrounding an apparent conflict of interest between his position as vice president and Hunter Biden’s relationship with foreign figures.
“Nothing was unethical”
To her credit, moderator Kristen Welker broached the issue directly after President Donald Trump raised his own allegations during one exchange in the debate.
She asked if “anything about those relationships” between Biden’s son and Ukraine and China was “inappropriate or unethical” given his position at the time as vice president.
“Nothing was unethical,” Biden answered, according to Fox News. “Here’s what’s the deal, regarding with Ukraine, we had this whole question about whether or not because he was on the board, I later learned, of Burisma, a company — that somehow I’ve done something wrong.”
Attempting to shift the focus to an investigation that took place during Trump’s impeachment probe, he concluded that “every single solitary person” involved concluded that “not one single solitary thing was out of line” in the manner by which he carried out foreign policy under the Obama administration.
Nevertheless, revelations from a recent New York Post report continue to hound the Biden administration with less than two weeks until Election Day.
“Information that is Russian”
After previously claiming he had no knowledge of or involvement in his son’s international dealings, emails allegedly recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer suggested otherwise.
As for those implications, Biden blamed Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. He called the former New York City mayor a “Russian pawn” peddling unsubstantiated allegations.
“We are in a situation where we have foreign countries trying to interfere in the outcome of our election,” Biden said, citing the president’s “own national security advisor” who “told him that what is happening with his buddy Rudy Giuliani — he’s being used as a Russian pawn, he’s being fed information that is Russian, that is not true.”
In any case, the exchange was at least somewhat more civil than Biden’s abrupt dismissal of a reporter’s question on the subject earlier this week.
I asked Joe Biden: What is your response to the NYPost story about your son, sir?
He called it a “smear campaign” and then went after me. “I know you’d ask it. I have no response, it’s another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.” pic.twitter.com/Eo6VD4TqxD
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) October 17, 2020