Trump suggesting Hunter Biden of Ukraine wrongdoing not credible
Aamer Madhani, David Jackson and Tyler Jett
Published 6:12 PM EDT Sep 20, 2019
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday pushed back against President Trump amid news reports that the president pressured Ukraine’s president to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the country.
Biden’s comments come in the wake of multiple news reports that a whistleblower from the intelligence community filed a complaint with the inspector general overseeing the community concerning Trump’s communications with a foreign leader.
Lawmakers are separately investigating whether Trump pushed for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe Biden’s family’s dealings in his country.
Asked by reporters after a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about reports that Trump wanted Biden’s son Hunter to be investigated by the Ukrainian government, Biden offered only a brief comment defending his son.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa … wait a second. Not one single credible outlet has given credibility to these assertions. Not one single one,” Biden said as he left a nature center where he had spoken at a town hall on climate issues. “So I have no comment other than the president should start to be president.”
Biden added in an interview with the political blog Iowa Starting Line that he found it “concerning to me that a president would do something like that.”
“It’s totally inappropriate for a president to try to get a foreign leader to say something that is untrue about any political opponent,” Biden said in the interview. “I’ve never heard of it before. I’ve never heard of it before. But I think that Congress is looking into it, and I think they should.”
The president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has previously raised questions that Biden, as vice president, had pushed for the ouster of former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who had investigated a private Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Group. Hunter Biden was a board member of Burisma.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and work with his personal attorney, Giuliani, on the matter.
Biden has previously said he wanted Shokin out as prosecutor generation because he wasn’t doing enough to investigate corruption.
Earlier Friday, Trump called reports of the whistleblower complaint against him a “ridiculous story” and said his communications with other leaders were “at the highest level always appropriate.” Asked by reporters Friday if he had raised questions about Biden’s dealings in the Ukraine during a July phone call with Zelensky, Trump replied, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”
He said it “doesn’t matter” if he asked the government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and that it should be done anyway.
Democratic presidential contender Kamala Harris came to Biden’s defense and hammered Trump over reports that he sought foreign help to go after a political rival.
“He has openly invited interference,” the California senator told reporters prior to a speech in Waterloo, Iowa. “And now we have information that suggests that, again, he has engaged in that kind of behavior. What he fails to understand is that he is the president of the United States, and that the office of the president of the United States is the people’s office — not his office. And he may be afraid of a candidate in this election.”
“Well then win on merit, but leave Joe Biden alone in terms of being in cahoots and collaborating with a foreign government to attack our democracy,” Harris said. “That’s what this is about. It’s really basic. Donald Trump appears to be collaborating with foreign governments to attack America’s democracy.”