President Joe Biden on Wednesday denied any knowledge of the threatening texts his son Hunter sent to a Chinese businessman invoking the president’s name.
"No, I wasn’t!" the president shouted in response to a reporter who asked whether he was present for, or aware of, Hunter Biden’s July 2017 texts to Henry Zhao, an official with the Chinese military intelligence-linked energy conglomerate CEFC Energy. Hunter Biden was at Joe Biden’s home the day he sent the messages, in which he claimed he was sitting next to his father and demanded Zhao follow through on a business commitment.
"No!" Joe Biden shouted as the reporter attempted to ask a follow-up question.
Reporter: "How involved were you in your son’s Chinese shake-down text message? Were you sitting there? Were you involved?"
Biden: "No, I wasn’t."
Reporter: "Were you?"
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 28, 2023
Joe Biden’s denial comes as mounting evidence suggests he had knowledge of Hunter Biden’s lucrative deal with CEFC Energy in 2017. In the July 30, 2017, text messages, which IRS investigators obtained from an electronic search warrant of Hunter Biden’s iCloud account, the first son claimed his father would bring professional ruin upon Zhao as he demanded the Chinese official put him on the phone with the chairman of CEFC Energy.
"Z if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the Chairman I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction," Hunter Biden said. "I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father. I sure hope whatever it is you are doing is very very very important."
Hours later, Hunter Biden was pictured at his father’s home sitting in the president’s beloved 1967 Corvette Stingray, according to photos from the first son’s abandoned laptop reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Three days later, on Aug. 3, Hunter Biden touted his family's value in a message to CEFC Energy Director Gongwen Dong.
"The Biden’s are the best I know at doing exactly what the Chairman wants from this partnershipn . [sic]," Hunter Biden said. "Please let’s not quibble over peanuts."
By Aug. 8, a Chinese official associated with CEFC Energy wired two payments totaling $5.1 million to the first son.
Later, on Sept. 21, 2017, Hunter Biden referred to his father and CEFC Energy executives as "office mates" in an email to the general manager of his K Street office building requesting new office access keys be made.
At least two of Hunter Biden’s business partners have come forward claiming Joe Biden was directly involved in the 2017 deal with CEFC Energy. One of those partners, Tony Bobulinski, said in October 2020 that he met with Joe and Hunter Biden in person in May 2017 to discuss the deal. The other, Rob Walker, told FBI agents in December 2017 that he was in the room when Joe and Hunter Biden met with CEFC Energy officials at a Washington, D.C., hotel.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, seemingly verified the legitimacy of his client’s text messages, but said in a statement Friday that the first son’s "verifiable words or actions" can’t be trusted because he was too intoxicated on crack cocaine at the time.