Joe Biden claimed in a soon to be aired 60 Minutes interview it was “simply improper” for President Donald Trump to have hired his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared to serve in the White House
The former vice president, who is besieged by questions over his youngest son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China, made the comments when asked if Trump’s children have “acted properly and avoided conflicts of interests” since he entered the Oval Office. After initially claiming that he was not “raised to go after children,” Biden said “their actions” spoke for themselves.
“I can just tell you this, that if I’m president, get elected president, my children are not gonna have offices in the White House,” Biden said. “My children are not gonna sit in on cabinet meetings.”
He further added that it was “simply improper” that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, held high-level roles in the administration.
“The idea that you’re gonna have [to] go to the extent that he has gone to have our, you know his children, his son-in-law, et cetera, engaged in the day-to-day operation of things they know nothing about,” Biden said.
Ironically Biden’s s condemnation of the Trump family comes only one week after his own son, Hunter, expressed regret for getting entangled in the political “swamp.” The younger Biden, who has a history of profiting off foreign deals inaccessible to the average American businessman, has been at the center of controversy since last month, when Trump suggested the Ukrainian government probe how he secured an appointment to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, detailed in his book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter received the appointment, which paid as much as $83,000 per month, despite having no background in the energy industry or Ukraine. His lack of experience, coupled with the fact that Joe Biden had just been made the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, immediately raised questions from ethics watchdogs in both the U.S. and Europe about a conflict of interest.
Furthering the ethical cloud over the appointment is that it came during the same month that Mykola Zlochevsky, Burisma’s founder, had his assets seized in the United Kingdom for suspicion of money laundering. A Ukrainian official with strong ties to Zlochevsky recently claimed the only reason that Hunter Biden secured the appointment was to “protect” the company from foreign scrutiny.
It is in the context of Burisma and Zlochevsky’s legal troubles that Joe Biden’s political influence has raised the most red flags. The former vice president has particularly drawn questions over his conduct in demanding the Ukrainian government fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in 2016. Biden, who has publicly bragged about the firing, reportedly threatened to withhold more than one billion dollars in U.S. aid if the Ukrainian government did not remove Shokin. He has claimed the demand came from then-President Barack Obama, who had allegedly lost faith in the prosecutor’s ability to tackle corruption.
Unofficially, though, it was known that Shokin was investigating both Burisma and Zlochevsky for public corruption. It is uncertain if the probe extended to Hunter Biden, although Shokin has recently admitted that prior to his ouster he was warned to back off the matter. Regardless of what occurred, Shokin’s successor dropped the investigation into Burisma and Zlochevsky, allowing the oligarch to return to the country after having fled in 2014.
Apart from Burisma, Hunter Biden is also under fire for his dealings with Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a private equity firm bankrolled by the Chinese government. Hunter Biden inked a multibillion dollar deal creating the firm with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China in 2013.
The timing of the lucrative deal has been brought into question, as it came only 12 days after Hunter visited China with his father aboard Air Force Two. Officially, the then-vice president was visiting the country amid escalating tensions over islands in the South China Sea and decided to bring his granddaughter and son along. During an interview with Breitbart News Tonight in March 2018, however, Schweizer detailed the political machinations that preceded Hunter Biden’s $1.5 billion venture with China:
In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China. To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. For basically not challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.
Since its creation, BHR has invested heavily in energy and defense projects across the globe. Although Hunter Biden announced this month he was resigning from the company’s board amid the newfound scrutiny, he is expected to keep his ten percent stakes in the venture, which is estimated to be worth millions.
Biden, however, did not address any of that headon during the 60 Minutes interview, apart from claiming his son did nothing wrong. Instead, the former vice president kept his criticism firmly on Trump and his children, even suggesting their positions in the White House blurred the lines between public service and self-enrichment.
“It’s just simply improper, because you should make it clear to the American public that everything you’re doing is for them. For them,” Biden said. “