Trump: Joe Biden and Son are ‘Stone-Cold Crooked’
President Donald Trump said that 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, are “stone-cold crooked” on Oct. 2 during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
A person from the crowd of reporters asked Trump: “What did you want about Biden, what did you want [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy] to look into on Biden?”
“Look, Biden and his son are stone-cold crooked and you know it,” Trump said. “His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing. You know it and so do we.”
Hunter Biden’s business links in China and Ukraine have been highlighted repeatedly by Trump, who on Sept. 20 urged the press to look into the elder Biden’s statement last year about how the former vice president had pressured the Ukrainian government into firing top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, the energy company in Ukraine for which Hunter Biden was a board member.
Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma recently came under the media spotlight after the White House released a memo showing that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to investigate corruption in Ukraine.
Hunter, who sat on the board of Burisma from 2014 to at least 2018, has said he consulted for Burisma, but critics have suggested he was not doing actual work in return for his substantial income, an allegation he denies.
Firing of a Prosecutor
At an event in 2018, Joe Biden said that in 2016 he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless then-President Petro Poroshenko fired Shokin.
“I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden recounted at the Council on Foreign Relations at the time. “Well, son of a [expletive], he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
In a tweet early Oct. 3, Trump quoted Fox News, which obtained “new documents [showing] that a former Ukrainian prosecutor said that he was forced to back off looking into a firm tied to Hunter Biden.”
“Does anyone other than Fake News protectors have a doubt?” he added.
“The Ukraine controversy continues this morning as new documents obtained by @FoxNews show that a former Ukrainian prosecutor said that he was forced to back off looking into a firm tied to Hunter Biden.” @MariaBartiromo Does anyone other than Fake News protectors have a doubt?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2019
Joe Biden has since denied using his influence to get Shokin fired to prevent him from investigating Hunter’s involvement. Biden claimed that the reason that Shokin was fired was because Shokin was inept. Investigative reporter for The Hill, John Solomon argues there is evidence to support the former.
Shokin said in a sworn affidavit obtained by The Hill that he was told that he was fired in March 2016 because Biden wasn’t pleased with the investigations into Burisma.
Shokin said that he tendered his resignation at the request of then-President Poroshenko, who “asked me to resign due to pressure from the U.S. presidential administration, in particular from Joe Biden … Biden was threatening to withhold USD$ 1 billion in subsidies to Ukraine until I was removed from office.”
Joe Biden Denies any Wrongdoing
The elder Biden also recently told reporters that he never discussed business with Hunter, and denied any wrongdoing related to Ukraine.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden told reporters in Iowa on Sept. 21. However, his son had previously told The New Yorker that the two had spoken “just once” about Hunter’s work in Ukraine.
On the same day as Joe Biden’s statement to reporters, Trump posted to Twitter a video captioned, “This is the real and only story!”
This is the real and only story! pic.twitter.com/4z8eOcm6PA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2019
The video showed Joe Biden dismissing the allegations against him and his son, interspersed with clips of various media outlets saying that probes into the matter have suggested conflicts of interest and a clip of Biden bragging about getting the prosecutor fired.
A photograph emerged on Sept. 30 on Fox News showing Joe Biden playing golf with Hunter and Hunter’s business partner, Devon Archer, who also served on the board of Burisma. The photo was reportedly taken in 2014.
Epoch Times reporters Zachary Stieber and Masooma Haq, and Reuters contributed to this report.