According to Democratic representative Dan Goldman (N.Y.), Devon Archer testified that Hunter Biden was selling only the "illusion of access" to his father, Joe Biden. A newly released transcript shows that the phrase was in fact from Goldman's questioning, not Archer's testimony.
"It's not about selling access to his father. It's about selling the illusion of access to his father. Is that fair?" Goldman asked Archer, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings with Hunter Biden. Archer was testifying to the House Oversight Committee this week about Joe Biden's role in his son's overseas business.
Archer replied that the phrase was "almost fair."
"There are touch points and contact points that I can't deny that happened, but nothing of material was discussed. But I can't go on record saying that there was—there was communications," Archer said.
"Yeah, there were communications," Archer clarified.
The mainstream media, however, widely reported Goldman's characterization after the New York Democrat claimed that's what Archer testified following the interview.
"New York Rep. Dan Goldman, who was representing Democrats inside the room, told reporters after the interview that Archer testified that Hunter sold the 'illusion of access' to his father," the Associated Press reported.
"Hunter Biden Sold 'Illusion' of Access to His Father, Former Associate Testifies," Time headlined its piece.
"Hunter Biden associate describes 'illusion of access,'" Axios reported on Monday.
After the transcript's release, CBS News on Thursday admitted that Goldman, not Archer, used the phrase "illusion of access."
"In fact, when you look at the transcript, what you see is that that phrase, 'illusion of access,' is in Dan Goldman's question—it's actually not what Devon Archer testified to," senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge said on air.
Archer revealed this week in an interview that Biden sent him a letter in 2011, contradicting the president's claims that he never discussed his son's business dealings.
"I apologize for not getting a chance to talk to you at the luncheon yesterday. … I hope I get a chance to see you again soon with Hunter. I hope you enjoyed lunch. Thanks for coming," then-vice president Biden wrote to Archer. A handwritten portion reads, "P.S. Happy you guys are together."
The letter stands in contrast to Joe Biden's long-held claims he had nothing to do with Hunter Biden's business.
"I have never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their businesses, period," Joe Biden said in August 2019.