Joe Biden on Friday defended his scandal-hit son Hunter amid investigations for alleged tax violations and lying on a gun permit, insisting: ‘My son has done nothing wrong.’
The president spoke to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle in his first one-on-one with a television reporter since February, when he spoke to PBS Newshour.
It is also the first since announcing his 2024 campaign.
Biden was asked about his 53-year-old son, whose business and tax dealings are being investigated by prosecutors.
Asked how the investigation impacts his presidency, Biden replied: ‘First of all my son has done nothing wrong.
‘I trust him, I have faith in him,’ he said.
‘And it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him.’
Joe Biden on Friday night defended his son Hunter, despite federal prosecutors weighing four charges against Hunter – three related to tax crimes, and the fourth a felony charge related to a gun purchase, according to the Washington Post
Biden on Friday spoke to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, and said he remained the best man for the job. ‘I have acquired a hell of a lot of wisdom and know more than the vast majority of people,’ said Biden. ‘And I’m more experienced than anybody that’s ever run for the office. And I think I’ve proved myself to be honorable as well as also effective’
Hunter Biden (pictured leaving court in Arkansas this week) is moving toward forming a legal defense fund as a federal investigation nears its conclusion and he faces off GOP investigations. He is also engaged in a child support battle in court
Hunter Biden met with U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss at Justice Department headquarters in Washington D.C. last week, in a sign that the federal investigation of him on tax matters and a gun charge are reaching a conclusion.
Weiss and his federal prosecutors are weighing four charges against Hunter – three related to tax crimes, and the fourth a felony charge related to a gun purchase, according to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are stepping up their probes of Hunter Biden’s finances and what some of them call the ‘Biden crime family.’
This week, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, 89, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said they had heard from a whistleblower.
They described being told about a bribery scheme from when Biden was serving as vice president.
‘We believe the FBI possesses an unclassified internal document that includes very serious and detailed allegations implicating the current President of the United States,’ said Grassley.
Grassley later said in an interview that he did not know whether the whistleblower’s claims were true.
He told Newsmax: ‘It is a very serious allegation. I wish I could say that I knew it was true or untrue.’
Biden (right) held a bilateral press conference last week with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (left), where leaders answer questions from two chosen journalists from each country
The president, meanwhile, was asked by Ruhle why he was running for re-election.
Biden, 80, made his reelection bid official last Tuesday by releasing a video.
Since then, he has yet to hit the campaign trail – and spent most of this week out of the public eye.
Ruhle pointed out that no Fortune 500 company is currently looking to hire a CEO in their 80s, and asked why he thought he was up to the task.
‘Because I have acquired a hell of a lot of wisdom and know more than the vast majority of people,’ said Biden.
‘And I’m more experienced than anybody that’s ever run for the office.
‘And I think I’ve proved myself to be honorable as well as also effective.’
He added that it would be catastrophic for the United States if Donald Trump returns to the White House.
‘We cannot let this election be won and the same man who was president four years ago,’ he said.
Asked what the difference was between himself and Trump, Biden replied: ‘Everything, everything. Everything.’
The president and first lady hosted a state dinner for South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol last Wednesday – where Biden did participate in a traditional bilateral press conference, where leaders answer questions from two chosen journalists from each country.
On Saturday night, Biden attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he was pressed by White House Correspondents’ Association President Tamara Keith to be more accessible to reporters.
‘Every president privately and sometimes publicly bridles at his news coverage. And yet they invite us in and take our questions,’ Keith said.
‘Though, sir, maybe not as many as we would like,’ she said, turning to Biden, who was seated nearby on the dais.
Two weeks ago, The New York Times called Biden’s press shyness a ‘deliberate strategy’ noting that in the 100 years since President Calvin Coolidge took office only Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan held as few news conferences as Biden.
He’s yet to do a sit-down interview with an American newspaper.
Overall, before Friday’s meet-up with Ruhle, he’ll have done 54 interviews.
By comparison, Donald Trump did 202 interviews during his first two years in office, while Barack Obama sat down for 275 interview, The Times said.
On Friday, Biden cut short shouted questions, saying he was going to do a press conference later on.
President Joe Biden teased journalists at the White House on Friday telling them that he would answer their questions later that afternoon at a ‘major press conference’
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris went on Friday to Taqueria Habaneros to pick up some Cinco de Mayo supplies
Conservatives on Twitter mocked Biden for confusing an interview and a press conference. ‘The White House is already scrambling to walk this back,’ said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel
It was later clarified by aides that he meant the interview.
Biden and Kamala Harris then went to a takeout spot in DC to buy tacos, to mark Cinco de Mayo.
In the meantime, conservatives on Twitter mocked Biden for confusing an interview and a press conference.
‘The White House is already scrambling to walk this back,’ said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.
‘Biden’s last solo press conference was 172 days ago.’