Former vice president Joe Biden continued to defend his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine Monday, saying it is “not true” that Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma in an attempt to get access to Biden himself, and that Hunter received the role “cause he’s a very bright guy.”
Biden, speaking to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie in Iowa ahead of the state caucuses on Monday, insisted that “no one’s found anything wrong” with Hunter’s role, “except they say ‘it sets a bad image.’”
The former vice president, whose time as the White House’s point person on Ukraine overlapped with his son’s tenure at Burisma, agreed with assertion that his son’s dealings may have appeared corrupt, a concession he has made previously. Hunter called the decision to work at Burisma “poor judgement” in an October interview, but denied an “ethical lapse.”
When Guthrie implied that Burisma had hired Hunter “because that company wanted access to you,” Biden became much more forceful.
“Well that’s not true, you’re saying things you do not know what you are talking about,” he stated. “No one said that. Who said that? Who said that?”
Biden then offered his own explanation as to why his son was hired, and refused to answer Guthrie’s question on “was it right.”
“He’s a very bright guy,” the Democratic presidential candidate stated. “He said he regretted having done it — he speaks for himself, he’s a grown man.”
"It's a good thing that no one's found anything wrong with his dealing with Ukraine except they say it sets a bad image," says former Vice President Joe Biden on his son's dealings with Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/9SLk62WPCK
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 3, 2020
An October report from Reuters cited Ukrainian sources close to Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky who said that Hunter Biden was hired in 2014 “to protect [the company]” in the face of potential prosecution “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name.” Documents also show that a consulting firm hired by Burisma leveraged the Biden name in an attempt to meet with the U.S. State Department.
Biden has consistently defended his son’s role, saying in a December interview that he would not look further into the matter “because I trust my son.” In the same interview, Biden added that his family would “not be engaged in any foreign business” if he was elected president.