Jill Biden says Hunter Biden’s trial marked ‘a tough week’ for her family

Updated
Matt Slocum

PHOENIX — First lady Jill Biden discussed Hunter Biden’s trial with NBC News during a campaign swing Saturday, the first time she has commented on his conviction after he was found guilty on three felony gun-related charges.

Biden said the trial marked “a tough week for my family,” explaining that they “had to relive ... the tough times.”

Still, she said she drew inspiration from Hunter Biden’s conduct in recent days.

“I think after the decision in the court, Hunter was strong, and so I have to take his example and just get out there and start fighting again,” the first lady said.

Jill Biden has spent the past few days traveling to states that could prove vital to her husband’s shot at returning to the Oval Office. She has held public events in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Arizona, and she traveled to California on Saturday evening for a star-studded fundraiser that the campaign says has already set a Democratic Party record.

Her travel blitz comes after she spent much of the trial inside the courtroom, even shuttling back and forth from France to be in the room in Delaware.

After Hunter Biden was convicted, President Joe Biden told reporters that he would neither pardon his son nor commute his sentence.

“Joe and I both respect the judicial system, and that’s the bottom line,” Jill Biden said Saturday.

Hunter Biden’s conviction comes just weeks before his father and former President Donald Trump are set to debate, a critical event for two presumptive nominees who are locked in a tight race, as polling indicates.

The first lady dismissed the notion that the president’s performance could be affected by Hunter Biden’s conviction.

“Oh, no,” she answered, adding later, “He is a strong man, and he is a resilient man, and he’s going to do a great job.”

The president issued a statement emphasizing his love for his son shortly after the jury returned the guilty verdict.

“Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support,” he said. “Nothing will ever change that.”

Hunter Biden does not yet have a sentencing date. He faces up to 25 years in prison, though he is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence since he has no prior convictions.

Mike Memoli reported from Phoenix. Megan Lebowitz reported from Cleveland.

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