Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

Biden aides were concerned with optics of son’s position with Ukrainian gas company

2 min read

Aides to former Vice President Joe Biden were reportedly worried about the appearance of his son’s employment with a Ukrainian gas company while his father was still in office.

Sources described as “people who worked with his office” told the New York Times that his staffers were concerned about the optics of Hunter Biden’s employment on the board of Burisma while his father was publicly railing against corruption in the country.

“Hunter Biden’s activities struck many of the officials working on Ukraine policy as an unnecessary distraction, or worse,” the publication reported Sunday. “Mr. Biden’s own aides were so worried about the optics, they enlisted State Department officials to gather facts to determine how to handle the story, according to people who worked with his office.”

However, “few, if any, had raised the issue with Mr. Biden directly when it first arose.” Most viewed Hunter Biden’s position as an issue that was “simply not worth risking a scolding from Mr. Biden, who had reacted angrily when Mr. Obama’s aides raised the issue of his son’s lobbying during the 2008 campaign.”

Others pointed to the personal loss of his son Beau Biden as another reason why aides shied away from discussing the matter with him.

Instead, they resorted to pushing the “private citizen” talking point about Hunter Biden, with a former adviser saying, “The independent activities of an adult child simply don’t create a ‘conflict of interest’ for the parent who is a public official.”

Biden’s son made $50,000 a month during his employment with the company, which he has since admitted was “poor judgment.” The Bidens have insisted they did not discuss the younger’s work and that the elder Biden simply told him, “I hope you know what you’re doing” when he learned of his employment.

President Trump has accused the 2020 Democratic front-runner of corruption for his son’s involvement with the Ukrainian company during his vice presidency. During a July 25 phone call, he pressed the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, a conversation that launched House impeachment proceedings last month.

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Author: Washington Examiner