Fact Check: Donald Trump Says Joe Biden’s Brother ‘Made Money in Iraq’

USTV Pool

CLAIM: President Donald Trump said to Joe Biden during Thursday’s presidential debate, “Your brother made money in Iraq, millions of dollars.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

James Biden, the younger brother of Joe Biden, worked as executive vice president of HillStone International, a firm that received $1.5 billion in government contracts during the Obama administrations, including a contract to build 100,000 homes in Iraq as part of an international development project.

Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, detailed the conflicts of interest related to James Biden’s position with HillStone International given Joe Biden’s oversight of ostensibly humanitarian government-funded development projects in Iraq during his tenure as vice president.

Kevin Justice, founder and president of Hillstone International, visited the White House in 2010 and met with Michele Smith, a top aide to then-Vice President Joe Biden who worked as a liaison to “global government officials and business executives.”

James Biden had no background in construction or international development when he joined the company. Hillstone International’s company profile of James Biden touted his familial connection to Joe Biden as a professional attribute.

Schweizer explained in January:

[James Biden] landed a very lucrative job in the construction business. Essentially what happened is, a guy named Kevin Justice — a longtime Biden family friend — in November of 2010, went and visited the white House and met with Joe Biden’s people in Joe Biden’s office. He started a company called HillStone International, a construction company. Three weeks after that meeting in the White House, he announced that James Biden, Joe Biden’s brother, was going to join as an executive vice president.

What stands out in this, of course, is that James Biden has no background in construction, and in a bio the company released on him, all they noted was the fact that he was comfortable in the corridors of power and his brother was vice president of the United States. A few months after he joins the firm, lo and behold, this new company lands a contract to build 100,000 homes in Iraq from the federal government. They get a bunch of other contracts, as well.

James would have been eligible for a portion of HillStone International’s $735 million in profits upon the contract’s completion as a minority partner in the firm.

Joe Biden did not deny the president’s claims during the debate.

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