The US president has defended Hunter Biden amid an FBI criminal probe, praising him for overcoming drug addiction.
Nearly two years on from the bombshell scandal that sprung from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, CNN has confronted President Joe Biden about the possibility of criminal charges being filed against his son.
Asked in an interview on Tuesday about reports that federal prosecutors have enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden with tax and gun crimes, the president defended his son without directly addressing the FBI investigation against him. “Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son,” Joe Biden said. “This is a kid who got – not a kid, he’s a grown man – he got hooked on, like many families have had happen, hooked on drugs. He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life.”
CNN host Jake Tapper immediately moved on to other topics after Biden’s response, and he didn’t address aspects of the laptop story that implicated the president in wrongdoing, including alleged influence-peddling by the Biden family in Ukraine and China. The elder Biden also praised his son for being “straightforward” about his problems, including a book in which he admitted to being a heavy user of crack cocaine.
“I’m confident that what he says and does are consistent with what happens . . .,” Biden said. “I didn’t know about it, but it turns out that when he made an application to purchase a gun, what happened was, I guess you get asked – I don’t guess, you get asked – ‘Are you on drugs? Do you use drugs?’ He said no. And he wrote about saying no in his book. So, I have great confidence in my son. I love him, and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now. And I’m just so proud of him.”
The New York Post broke the laptop story in October 2020, just weeks before Biden was elected president, after obtaining data from a computer that Hunter Biden had left at a Delaware repair shop. Social media outlets censored the report – at the behest of the FBI, in the case of Facebook – and legacy media outlets either ignored it or branded it as “Russian disinformation.”
In fact, CNN suggested that then-President Donald Trump was spreading Russian disinformation when he raised the issue in the final debate before the election. Biden responded to Trump by dismissing the report as a “Russian plan,” citing a letter by former intelligence agency officials who suggested that Moscow was behind the scandal.
By December 2020, after Biden had already been declared winner of the controversial election, CNN acknowledged that the FBI was investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Asked later that month by a Fox News reporter whether he still thought the allegations against his son were Russian disinformation, the president laughed and said, “Yes, yes, yes. God love you, man. You’re a one-horse pony.”