President Joe Biden is reportedly lashing out at aides who advise he maintain distance from his scandal-plagued son Hunter Biden.
"Hands off my family" is how one source described to NBC Biden's policy toward close aides.
Biden is reportedly intent on keeping Hunter Biden close. The first son was invited to last week's White House state dinner with the Indian prime minister and was spotted traveling with the president to Camp David.
"It’s consumed him," a source told NBC, referring to the president's focus on keeping Hunter Biden close and out of harm's way.
The report comes a day after Biden denied any knowledge of threatening texts Hunter Biden sent to Chinese businessman in which he name-dropped his father and claimed he was sitting next to him.
"No, I wasn’t!" Biden shouted Wednesday at a reporter who asked if he was with his son when the threat was sent. The texts were sent in 2017 to Henry Zhao, an official with the Chinese military intelligence-linked energy company CEFC Energy. The Washington Free Beacon found that Hunter Biden was at his father's house the day the messages were sent.
"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 told Zhao in 2017. "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."
Hunter Biden agreed last week to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax crimes, a move that will likely keep him out of prison. The plea deal ends a five-year probe by the Justice Department into Biden's taxes. Prosecutors also charged Biden with a felony gun crime.
An IRS whistleblower alleged that the Justice Department shielded Hunter Biden and his father from scrutiny, undermining the tax investigation.
"There were certain investigative steps that we weren't allowed to take that could have led us to President Biden," whistleblower Gary Shapley said this week. "We needed to take them."
House Republicans probing the Biden family's foreign dealings said the plea deal with the Department of Justice will not impact their investigation into the Biden family's overseas business dealings.