At debate, Biden defends his son — and himself — over Trump's Ukraine claims


At the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden — accused by President Trump of corruption in relation to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine — defended himself and his son.

“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong,” Biden said at the debate, which was hosted by CNN and the New York Times at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. “I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine.”

Trump’s repeated calls for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens are at the center of a whistleblower’s complaint that triggered an impeachment inquiry into the president. Trump had ordered the withholding of U.S. military aide to Ukraine unless President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. During a July 25 phone call, Trump told Zelensky to connect with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, to probe the claims about the Bidens.

“Rudy Giuliani, the president and his thugs have already proven they are flat lying,” Biden said. “[Trump is] going after me because he knows if I get the nomination I will beat him like a drum.”

Joe Biden
Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday night. (Photo: John Minchillo/Ap)

In an interview that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America” earlier Tuesday, Hunter Biden said he did nothing “improper” in his business dealings, but admitted he may have showed “poor judgment.”

“Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is ... a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah,” Hunter Biden said.

During the debate, Joe Biden said “my son’s statement speaks for itself.”

He said he never discussed Ukraine policy with his son.

“I did my job,” Biden said. “I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have.” (That is not true. Hunter Biden told the New Yorker magazine earlier this year that his father did discuss Burisma with him just once: “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’” In the ABC interview, Hunter Biden said “it wasn’t a discussion in any way” but ultimately acknowledged the New Yorker’s characterization was accurate.)

“My son made a judgment,” Biden added. “I’m proud of the judgment he made. I’m proud of what he had to say. The fact of the matter is this is about Trump’s corruption. That is what we should be focusing on.”

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