President Joe Biden on Monday denied any knowledge of his son Hunter's foreign business dealings, the latest in a series of confusing, and seemingly goalpost-shifting statements from the White House.
Biden offered a simple "no" in response to a reporter's query, "Did you lie about never speaking to Hunter about his business deals?" Days earlier, White House spokesman Ian Sams responded to mounting evidence to the contrary by claiming simply that President Biden "was not in business with his son." Sams's statement itself contradicted Biden's oft-repeated claim, which the president has maintained since 2019, that he’s never discussed foreign business deals with his son.
The various statements offer a glimpse into the White House's frenzied response to the release of bombshell texts implicating the president in his son’s Chinese energy dealings. Congress last week made public testimony from IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, which shows that Hunter Biden invoked his father’s name in a threatening text message to a Chinese business partner.
"We would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled," Hunter Biden said in the July 30, 2017, message. "I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father."
Photographs from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop place him at Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence when he sent the text, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Ten days after Hunter Biden invoked his father’s name, a Chinese official associated with CEFC China Energy wired two payments totaling $5.1 million to the first son.
The texts, which IRS investigators obtained from an electronic search warrant of Hunter Biden’s iCloud account, are the latest in a growing mountain of evidence suggesting the president was intimately aware of his son’s foreign business dealings, specifically the deal with CEFC China.
Joe Biden reassured his son in a Dec. 12, 2018, voicemail located on the first son’s abandoned laptop that he was in the "clear" one day before the New York Times was set to publish a story on Hunter Biden’s relationship with former CEFC chairman Ye Jianming.
"I thought the article released online, it's going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good," Joe Biden told his son. "I think you're clear. And anyway, if you get a chance, give me a call. I love you."
At least two of Hunter Biden’s business partners involved in the deal have come forward claiming the president was directly involved in business negotiations with CEFC Energy, which works closely with Chinese military intelligence.
One of Hunter Biden’s business partners, Tony Bobulinski, said in October 2020 he met Joe and Hunter Biden in Los Angeles in May 2017 to discuss the deal with CEFC Energy. At the time of that meeting, Joe Biden was poised to receive a 10 percent stake in their joint venture with the Chinese energy company, Bobulinski said.
Rob Walker, another of Hunter Biden’s business partners, told FBI agents in December 2020 that he was in the room when Hunter and Joe Biden met with CEFC officials at a Washington, D.C., hotel. Walker told the agents Hunter Biden brought his father to the meeting to impress the Chinese businessmen.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, seemingly verified the legitimacy of the first son’s threatening text message to his Chinese business partner but said the president can’t be implicated in the text because his client was too hopped up on crack cocaine at the time.
"Any verifiable words or actions of my client, in the midst of a horrible addiction, are solely his own and have no connection to anyone in his family," Clark said Friday.
The White House did not return a request for comment.