President Donald Trump did not ask Attorney General William Barr to launch an investigation into the son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Hunter, whose business dealings have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“No he has not. The president wants these things to be looked into, and the media is really the avenue that should be doing that at this point,” McEnany told reporters on Friday. “It’s up to the attorney general as to how he pursues this, and the FBI, but we just want justice and we want the American people to have a full picture of what’s at stake.”
This comes after Trump’s comments during a Fox News interview where he said the attorney general should look into the conduct alleged in a New York Post report about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.
“We have got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act and he’s got to act fast,” Trump told the news outlet.
“He’s gotta appoint somebody,” the president said. “This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election.”
Emails that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, sourced from a laptop that was purportedly left at a repair shop in Delaware, revealed that he may have arranged a meeting between his father, who was the vice president at the time, and a Ukrainian gas executive. Hunter Biden was sitting on the board of the same energy firm, Burisma Holdings. The Biden campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer have both denied claims that the elder Biden met with the executive.
The email correspondence showed one of those executives, Vadym Pozharskyi, thanking the younger Biden for “inviting me to D.C. and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together [sic].” The NY Post reported that it showed the Biden family may have been operating an influence-peddling scheme.
Trump and his GOP allies in Congress have seized on the NY Post’s reports, accusing the Bidens of being corrupt and the former vice president of being unfit to serve in the White House.
In response to the allegations, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told media outlets last week: “Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told the Hugh Hewitt show on Wednesday that appointing a special prosecutor to look into the allegations against Hunter Biden “is certainly something that has merit.”
“It’s also something that has been considered. It’s not necessarily at the top of our priority list in [these] last 13 days, but as we’re looking at that, we think an independent special counsel might be the best medicine for this, not that anything would come out before November 3rd,” he said.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.