Hunter Biden pointed to his previous seat on the Amtrak board of directors as justification for his position with a Ukrainian gas company — but that argument is reportedly very thin.
Biden’s only qualification for joining Amtrak was that he was a frequent passenger on trains, according to remarks made at the time in the Senate Commerce Committee.
When asked in an ABC interview about his qualifications for a seat on the Ukrainian gas company board: “What were your qualifications to be on board of Burisma [Holdings]?” Biden responded, “Well, I was vice chairman of the board of Amtrak for five years, I was the chairman of the board of the U.N. World Food Program. I was a lawyer for Boies Schiller Flexner, one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.” (RELATED: Nunes: Ukraine Will Sink Biden’s Campaign, Not Trump’s Presidency)
Biden also claimed to have “had as much knowledge as anybody else that was on the [Burisma] board, if not more.”
The ABC interview was replete with Hunter Biden commenting on how there was nothing improper about his Burisma deal — but that it was just being used as a political attack on his father.
But when Biden was appointed to Amtrak, Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper couldn’t provide a ringing endorsement for the decision. Although Carper, who was a close colleague of the then-senior Democratic senator from Delaware, Joe Biden, supported the appointment but he could only cite Hunter Biden’s fondness for train travel as a reason for him advising Amtrak. Speaking to the Senate Commerce Committee, Carper allowed that Biden might be an “excellent addition” to the board, but wouldn’t elaborate as to why. (RELATED: Joe Biden Never Says He Discussed Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Deal. Hunter Says He Did)
“More significantly, Hunter has spent a lot of time on Amtrak trains,” Carper said after listing schools Biden attended. “Like his father, Rep. Mike Castle and myself, Hunter Biden has lived in Delaware while using Amtrak to commute to his job in Washington, D.C.”
“You learn a lot about what works and what could work better at Amtrak by riding those trains,” Carper said.
“Rolling Stone” writer Matt Taibbi described Carper’s remarks as a “sarcastic anti-recommendation.”