Sources: Hunter Biden leaves Navy after drug test

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Joe Biden's Son Booted From Navy for Failing Drug Test


WASHINGTON (AP) - Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, has been kicked out of the military after testing positive for cocaine, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The Navy said that Biden, a former lobbyist who works at a private equity firm, was discharged in February - barely a year after he was selected for the part-time position as a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve. Citing privacy laws, the Navy did not give a reason for the discharge, which was not disclosed until it emerged in the media on Thursday.

In a statement released by his attorney, Biden said he respected the Navy's decision and was moving forward with his family's love and support. He did not give a reason for his discharge.

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Sources: Hunter Biden leaves Navy after drug test
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. Hunter Biden is expressing regret for being discharged from the Navy Reserve amid published reports that he tested positive for cocaine. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hunter Biden failed the drug test last year and was discharged in February. In a statement issued Thursday, Oct. 16, Biden doesn't say why he was discharged. He says he's embarrassed that his actions led to his discharge and that he respects the Navy's decision.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Vice President-elect, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., left, stands with his son Hunter during a re-enactment of the Senate oath ceremony, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden and World Food Program USA Board Chair Hunter Biden taking the Live Below the Line Challenge, eating and drinking on $1.50 a day to raise awareness of global hunger and World Food Programme school feeding efforts around the world, at World Food Program USA on May 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 30: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets Vice President Joe Biden (C) and his son Hunter Biden as they attend the game between the Duke Blue Devils and Georgetown Hoyas on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexis C. Glenn-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 30: President of the United States Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden (son of Joe Biden) talk during a college basketball game between Georgetown Hoyas and the Duke Blue Devils on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 30: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets Vice President Joe Biden (C) and his son Hunter Biden as they attend the game between the Duke Blue Devils and Georgetown Hoyas on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexis C. Glenn-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 30: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets Vice President Joe Biden (C) and his son Hunter Biden as they attend the game between the Duke Blue Devils and Georgetown Hoyas on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexis C. Glenn-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 29: Hunter Biden (l) and actor Woody Harrelson pose for a photo at the after party following the 2nd Annual IMPACT Film Festival's screening of 'The Messenger' at Posh on October 29, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
Jill Biden, center, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, sits with her sons Beau Biden, left, and Hunter Biden, right, before the start of the vice presidential debate, at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Hunter Biden, right, and his stepmother Jill Biden on stage after the vice presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden (C) and son Hunter Biden (R) at the airport December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. Biden is on the first leg of his week-long visit to Asia. (Photo by Ng Han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Hunter Biden attends the Artists And Athletes Alliance red carpet event at Inaugural Honors ServiceNation, held at Cafe Milano in Georgetown January 19, 2009 Washington, DC. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
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"It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy," Biden said. "I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge."

The vice president's office declined to comment. Hunter Biden's attorney didn't respond to inquiries about whether Biden had used cocaine.

Two people familiar with the situation said Biden, 44, was discharged because he failed a drug test last year. They weren't authorized to discuss the incident by name and requested anonymity. The Wall Street Journal first reported Biden's discharge and failed drug test.

An attorney by training, Biden applied to join the Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer and was selected in 2012 - one of seven candidates recommended for a direct commission for public affairs. A board of senior Navy officers interviewed Biden before making the recommendation.

Because he was 42 at the time, he needed a special waiver to be accepted. Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a spokesman for the Navy, said Biden had been assigned to the Navy Public Affairs Support Element East, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

The terms of Biden's separation from the Navy were unclear. Typically, military members discharged for failing drug tests don't receive an honorable discharge.

The vice president speaks about his children frequently during public appearances. In December, Hunter Biden and one of his daughters accompanied the elder Biden on a trip to Asia, where the vice president praised his son's work around the world as the chairman of the World Food Program USA.

"I'm so incredibly proud of him," Vice President Biden said.

Earlier this year, Hunter Biden raised eyebrows when he joined the board of a private Ukrainian gas company, just as his father and the Obama administration were working to wean Ukraine off Russian energy. At the time, the vice president's office brushed aside questions about the arrangement by saying that the younger Biden was a "private citizen."

Biden, a managing partner at investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, has three children. His older brother, Beau Biden, is Delaware's attorney general and an Army National Guard member who served a yearlong deployment in Iraq.
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