Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he saw nothing wrong with the business dealings of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine and Russia.
The American mainstream media passed along Putin’s comments without any warning messages about “disinformation” or “election meddling,” even though they have breathlessly reported claims that Russia influenced the 2016 election and is attempting to influence the 2020 race.
Reuters suggested Putin’s remarks might have been “an attempt to try to curry favor with the Biden camp,” leavening that observation by noting Putin also objected to Biden’s “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric” during his remarks on Russian state television:
“Yes, in Ukraine he (Hunter Biden) had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians,” said Putin.
“But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this (being criminal).”
Putin also reacted with visible irritation when asked about comments Trump has made concerning Putin’s ties to the former mayor of Moscow, and to an alleged payment made to Hunter Biden by the ex-mayor’s widow. Putin said he knew nothing about the existence of any commercial relationship between Hunter and the woman. Joe Biden says the accusation about his son is not true.
Putin was referring to a payment made to Hunter Biden’s private equity firm by Yelena Baturina, a billionaire married to Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov until he died in 2019. Contrary to Putin’s dissembling and Reuters’ effort to soften the blow, the wire transfer of $3.5 million she sent to Hunter Biden’s company is a matter of documented fact according to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Russia’s RT.com reported that Putin said “no comment” when asked about President Donald Trump’s accusation that Joe Biden himself is “getting a lot of money from Russia.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized Biden more forcefully on Monday for saying in a CBS News interview that Russia is “the biggest threat to America right now in terms of breaking up our security and our alliances.”
“It’s not right, we strongly disagree with that assertion. We can only regret that hatred against Russia is being spread this way and our country is depicted as an adversary,” Peskov said of Biden’s remarks.