Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defended his son Hunter after President Trump lobbed attacks about his controversial business dealings in foreign countries during the first debate on Tuesday.
“Your son goes in, and he takes out millions of dollars. Takes out billions of dollars to manage, makes millions of dollars, and also, while we’re at it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son three and [a] half millions of dollars,” Trump said.
Trump was referring to a recently released report from a GOP-led Senate investigation into the younger Biden. The resulting report contains several allegations of problematic foreign transactions while his father was helping to lead the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Democrats rejected the idea that there was any wrongdoing and argued that the claims of corruption are political smears and possibly steeped in Russian disinformation, which Republicans have denied.
The report from the Republican-led Homeland Security and Finance committees said, “Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow,” but later notes that it was sent to an investment firm co-founded by the younger Biden in 2014 and did not offer evidence that he himself got the money.
One of the dealings the Senate Republicans investigated was Hunter Biden being employed on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy firm, while his father was spearheading U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine.
“My son did nothing wrong at Burisma,” Biden said in response to Trump bringing up the matter, which was integral to him being impeached by the Democratic-led House and acquitted by the GOP-led Senate.
Biden insisted Trump’s claims have been debunked by various media outlets and said he did not want to discuss family matters during the debate.
“Here’s the deal. We want to talk about families and ethics. I don’t want to do that. His family, we could talk about all night,” Biden said.
Trump responded, saying members of his family had “lost a fortune” by helping to run the government.
“This is not about my family or his family,” Biden said. “It’s about your family, the American people. … He doesn’t want to talk about what you need. You, the American people. It’s about you. That’s who we are talking about. It’s not about him.”
The debate on Tuesday in Cleveland is the first of the presidential season. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace moderated the event.