LIVE

Hunter insisted on Good Morning America on Tuesday that he "absolutely" had not made any ethical mistakes in his business career

By Helen Murphy
October 15, 2019 11:43 AM
Advertisement

Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden is speaking out amid President Donald Trump‘s continued attacks on his family.

During an interview with ABC News that first aired on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, Hunter, 49, spoke out for the first time since the House of Representatives began its impeachment inquiry into Trump after the president, 73, lobbied Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Speaking with ABC’s Amy Robach, Hunter dismissed conservative criticism of his past business ventures as a “ridiculous conspiracy idea” and stressed that he and his father had never discussed his specific work.

No evidence of wrongdoing has been found and Hunter has not been accused of a crime.

But President Trump and allies like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, have accused the Bidens of “corruption” related to Hunter’s work in Ukraine and China while his dad was in office.

Hunter said on GMA that he had shown “poor judgment” about his past business ties, given his dad’s government work, but he said that he did not “do anything improper.”

“Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah,” he said. “But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”

“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this — this ridiculous conspiracy idea,” Hunter told Robach.

Referring to Trump’s attacks, which prompted the impeachment investigation, he said: “I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake.”

Hunter also acknowledged that his family name and his father’s political career likely played a role in his own success over the years. “I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” he said.

“Because my dad was vice president of the United States. There’s literally nothing, as a young man or as a full grown adult that my father in some way hasn’t had influence over,” he said.

After a reconstruction of Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine this summer was released, critics called his involvement an obvious abuse of presidential power for personal gain. Vice President Biden is the frontrunner to challenge him for re-election next year.

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called the investigation into his actions “harassment” and a “witch hunt.”

Earlier this month he told reporters he has an “obligation” to investigate corruption but provided no further evidence.

“Being the subject of Donald Trump’s ire is a feather in my cap,” Hunter said on GMA Tuesday. “It’s not something that I go to bed nervous about at night at all. The reason I’m able to do that is because I am absolutely enveloped in love of my family.”

When asked about how Trump’s focus on Hunter’s business deals might affect voters and his father’s 2020 presidential campaign, Hunter said: “I think that they know who my dad is, and I think that they know that my dad is not Donald Trump.”

“I certainly hope that there is no negative political ramifications of this,” he continued. “I think that the truth always wins.”

Joe Biden and Trump
Former Vice President Joe Biden (left) and President Donald Trump
| Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty ; Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Hunter also drew a contrast between his father and Trump, saying that Biden, 76, has not gone after Trump’s children during his campaign.

“As it relates to whether he can take on Donald Trump, absolutely,” Hunter said. “But my dad doesn’t go after other people’s kids. He just doesn’t. Never has.”

During the interview, Hunter additionally maintained that his relationship with his father remains strong.

“My dad doesn’t have to defend me. My dad only has to love me. And my dad loves me unequivocally,” he said. “And so [that is] one thing that he doesn’t have to get involved in because he knows that I am my own man and that I’m strong enough.”