President Donald Trump highlighted the news that a State Department official criticized Hunter Biden’s board position in Ukraine while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president.
George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, told Congress Tuesday that he had concerns in 2015 about Biden’s position on the board of Burisma Holdings, according to people familiar with his testimony speaking to the Washington Post.
Kent said that the State Department believed that Hunter Biden’s role would send the wrong message to the Ukrainians, as they were trying to root out corruption, and that they contacted the vice president’s office.
Trump said that he had never met Kent but found the report interesting.
“He excoriated the Obama administration and Joe Biden and Joe Biden’s son saying that he has tremendous problems with Joe Biden’s son and Ukraine,” Trump said, pointing to the report.
According to Kent’s testimony, Biden’s office at the time said that he did not have the “bandwidth” to deal with the issue as his son Beau Biden was fighting cancer.
Biden was also reportedly very sensitive about questions about his family, according to his former aides speaking to the New Yorker, and was often intimidated:
When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,” a former adviser told me. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, “got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It’s like you’ve hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.”
Hunter Biden admitted in an ABC News interview that aired Tuesday that he had likely gotten the position on the board because his father was the vice president of the United States.
“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been asked to be on the board of Burisma?” ABC News reporter Amy Robach asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” Hunter Biden replied.