CNN and the New York Times spent less than three minutes on the issue of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his foreign business dealings during Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate.
Panelists only asked Biden about the scandal within the first hour of the debate, initially excluding all other candidates from weighing in.
“President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board if Ukraine,” CNN host Anderson Cooper began. “I want to point out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you. … If it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice-president?”
Biden responded saying he and his son did nothing wrong.
“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. That’s what we should be focusing on. What I wanted to make a point about — my son’s statement speaks for itself,” Biden responded.
The younger Biden served on the boards of two foreign companies including Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners and Ukrainian gas company Burisma holdings. Burisma reportedly hired the former vice president’s son in an effort to recruit well-known Americans while it was under investigation, The New York Times reported in May.
“What I think is important is we focus on why it’s so important to remove this man from office. … This president — on three occasions — has invited foreign governments and heads of government to get engaged in trying to alter our elections,” Biden continued.
Biden added that Trump doesn’t want him to be the Democratic nomination.
“He is going after me because he knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum,” Biden said.
Cooper then gave Biden another question regarding his son’s foreign business dealings, asking, “Your son Hunter gave an interview and admitted I made a mistake and showed poor judgment by serving on the board. Did you make a mistake by letting him?”
Biden repeated that his son’s statement “speaks for itself” while answering the second question.
“My son’s statement speaks for itself. I did my job. I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have. … Let’s focus on this. The fact of the matter is that this is about Trump’s corruption. That’s what we should be focusing on,” the former vice president concluded.
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