Oct 15, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden defends his Ukraine work

Hunter Biden defended his work in Ukraine during an interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday, but admitted that he probably would not have been named a board member of natural gas company Burisma Holdings in 2014 had his father not been serving as vice president.

ABC News' Amy Robach: What were your qualifications to be on the board of Burisma?
Hunter Biden: Well, I was vice chairman on the board of Amtrak for 5 years. I was the chairman of the board of the UN World Food Program. I was a lawyer for Boies Schiller Flexner, one of the most prestigious law firms in the world.
Robach: You didn't have any extensive knowledge about natural gas or Ukraine itself, though.
Biden: No, but I think I had as much knowledge as anybody else who was on the board — if not more.
Robach: In the list that you gave me of the reasons you were on that board, you did not list the fact that you were the son of the vice president. What role do you think that played?
Biden: Of course, yeah. I think that it is impossible for me to be on any of the boards I just mentioned without saying that I'm the son of the vice president of the United States.

Why it matters: President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden used his vice presidency to help stop an investigation into the owner of one of Ukraine's largest private gas companies, where Hunter Biden was a board member.

  • Hunter Biden said he and his father did not discuss Burisma or Ukraine beyond his father telling him that "I hope you know what you're doing" after news reports of his position on the board first emerged.

Details: Hunter Biden said he did not believe he did anything wrong, adding that he left the board after his term was up because staying on would have been a "distraction."

  • The younger Biden also said that he does not regret serving on the board, but promised that he would not serve on boards or work for any foreign entities if his father becomes president.
"Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But did I make a mistake based upon some unethical lapse? Absolutely not."

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