Biden Asked ‘Why Was It OK’ for Son to Engage in Foreign Business Dealings

October 15, 2019 Updated: October 16, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden was asked why it was okay for his son to engage in foreign business dealings while Biden was in office during the debate on Oct. 15.

Biden announced over the weekend that if he were elected president, none of his relatives would have a job with or a business relationship with foreign corporations or governments.

“No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country. Period. Period. End of story,” Biden told reporters in Iowa. Hunter Biden, Biden’s son, announced recently that he was stepping down from the board of BHR Partners, a Chinese firm.

CNN anchor and debate moderator Anderson Cooper wondered on Tuesday what the difference would be between Biden as president and Biden as vice president.

“If it’s not ok for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it ok for your son when you were vice president?” Cooper asked Biden.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (L) with his son Hunter (R) at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game in Washington on Jan. 30, 2010. (Nick Wass/AP Photo)
Former Vice President Joe Biden (L) with his son Hunter at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game in Washington on Jan. 30, 2010. (Nick Wass/AP Photo)

“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong,” Biden responded. “I followed the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. That’s what we should focus on; my son’s statement speaks for itself.”

“What I think we should focus on is why it’s so important to remove this man from office,” he added, referring to President Donald Trump.

Hunter Biden gave an interview to ABC this week, admitting he might have made a mistake by taking positions with Burisma in Ukraine and BHR Partners in China while his father was in office.

“I think that it was poor judgment on my part,” he said. “… Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah, But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”

Cooper pressed Biden on his son’s interview, bringing up how his son expressed regret.

Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden (C) and son Hunter Biden (R) at the airport in Beijing, China on Dec. 4, 2013. (Photo by Ng Han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)

“Look, my son’s statement speaks for itself,” the former vice president said. “I did my job; I never discussed a single thing having to do with my job with my son. No one has indicated I have. … There was no potential conflict. my son made a judgment, I’m proud of the judgment he made, I’m proud of what he had to say.”

Joe Biden has said at least twice now that he and his son did not speak about his son’s foreign business dealings, and Hunter Biden made that assertation during the interview as well.

But Hunter Biden told the New Yorker in a story published on July 1 that he did speak to his father once about Burisma.

“As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: ‘Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do,'” according to the piece.

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