Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden snapped at a reporter on Oct. 4 after being asked a question on whether his son’s work in Ukraine, while Biden was vice president dealing diplomatically with the country, amounted to a “conflict of interest.”
“How was your role as vice president in charge of policy in Ukraine and your son’s job in Ukraine—how was that not a conflict of interest?” the reporter asked Biden during the Service Employees International Union forum in Los Angeles, according to a video circulating on social media.
“It’s not a conflict of interest. There’s been no indication of any conflict of interest from Ukraine or anywhere else,” Biden replied. The reporter then asked him whether his son’s work would have created an appearance of a conflict of interest.
“Period. I am not going to respond to that,” the former vice president said.
Biden then raised his voice and pointed at the reporter, saying, “Let’s focus on the problem. Focus on this man, what he’s doing that no president has ever done.”
Joe Biden loses his cool when confronted by a reporter asking whether there was ‘conflict of interest’ regarding his son’s Ukraine/China business scandal. pic.twitter.com/kW2U0IwztJ
— Giovanni Cavalcanti (@giovannicavett) October 4, 2019
During the same news conference, Biden hit back at President Donald Trump after the commander-in-chief told reporters earlier on Oct. 4 that his request for Ukraine’s assistance to look into former Vice President Joe Biden was made to investigate alleged corruption rather than to look for information on a political opponent to help his campaign.
“All this talk [from] the president about corruption, comes from the most corrupt president we’ve had in modern history. He’s the definition of corruption,” Biden told reporters.
He then accuses Trump of being “unhinged” while denying any wrongdoing with his and his son’s dealings with Ukraine.
“He is unhinged. I worry about what he’s going to do—not about me or my family. I’m worried about what he’ll do in the next year in the presidency, as this thing continues to rot on his watch,” Biden said.
Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have repeatedly raised concerns about Biden’s alleged dealings with China and Ukraine. During the 2018 Council of Foreign Relations Discussion meeting, Biden bragged about successfully forcing then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to terminate their top prosecutor Viktor Shokin by withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid to the country.
“I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired,” Biden said.
Shokin was in charge of investigating the Burisma Holdings at the time, while Hunter Biden, served on the board of directors. The Hill reported in April that U.S. banking records indicated Hunter’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, typically amounting to more than $166,000 a month. The period in question is when then-Vice President Joe Biden was the U.S. official dealing with Ukraine.
Biden has denied that he used his influence to get the top prosecutor fired. But Shokin told a European court in a sworn affidavit that he was removed because he refused to drop the Biden investigation.
“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine, and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin said.
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump on Sept. 24 over his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. An alleged whistleblower filed a complaint about the July 25 call, claiming that the president was leveraging his office to obtain “dirt” on a political opponent—2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
A day after Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry, the White House released a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call. The transcript revealed that Trump had asked Zelensky to look into Crowdstrike, a technology firm that was hired by the Democratic National Committee, and look into Biden’s dealings with Ukraine over his comments to the Council of Foreign Relations Discussion in 2018.
The president has repeatedly maintained that his phone call with the Ukrainian president was “perfect” and that he had asked Zelensky for help to investigate the alleged corruption around Biden’s dealings.
“Everything, to me, is about corruption. We want to find out what happened with 2016. And, as you know, there’s a lot of work going on, on that. I don’t care about Biden’s campaign, but I do care about corruption,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Oct. 4.
“What I want to do—and I think I have an obligation to do it, probably a duty to do it: corruption—we are looking for corruption. When you look at what Biden and his son did, and when you look at other people—what they’ve done,” he added.
Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.