WASHINGTON — White Home press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday stated that she’s “not acquainted” with a extensively reported claim that an organization related to first son Hunter Biden acquired $3.5 million from the wife of Moscow’s former mayor, after being requested by The Submit what the fee was for.
“I’m not acquainted with that claim. It doesn’t sound prefer it’s backed up by lots of proof. If in case you have proof or specifics, I’m completely happy to debate it additional,” Psaki stated at her every day press briefing in response to a query from The Submit.
Psaki stated, referring to a report from the Senate Finance and Homeland Safety committees that made the claim, “I’m not acquainted with the report in any respect.”
The alleged 2014 fee was incessantly cited in the course of the presidential marketing campaign final yr. Then-President Donald Trump usually raised it at public occasions together with at marketing campaign rallies and each presidential debates.
The claim was the topic of one of essentially the most contentious moments of the primary presidential debate between Trump and Biden, with a flustered Biden denying his son got the cash and calling Trump a “clown.”
The Senate report, launched in September, stated the agency linked to Hunter Biden acquired $3.5 million from Elena Baturina, the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. The senators stated they didn’t know the aim of the fee.
On the Sept. 29 presidential debate in Cleveland, Trump peppered Biden with questions concerning the fee.
“Simply out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son $3.5 million … What did he do to deserve it?” Trump stated, additionally noting Hunter Biden’s reported $83,000 monthly job on the board of Ukrainian vitality firm Burisma whereas the elder Biden managed the Obama administration’s Ukraine coverage.
Biden replied, “None of that’s true.”
“Oh actually, he didn’t get $3.5 million?” Trump stated.
“It’s completely discredited — completely discredited,” Biden insisted.
“Nicely wait, he didn’t get $3.5 million, Joe? He got $3.5 million,” Trump stated.
“That’s not true,” Biden insisted.
On the second and last presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, Trump launched into an assault on Biden over the report.
“Joe got $3.5 million from Russia. And it got here by means of Putin, as a result of he was very pleasant with the previous mayor of Moscow and it was the mayor of Moscow’s wife. He got $3.5 million. Your loved ones got $3.5 million and you understand, sometime you’re gonna have to elucidate — why did you get three and a half [million]?” Trump stated.
After Psaki’s briefing Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) tweeted, “@PressSec heard you’re not acquainted with my and @chuckgrassley report. Here’s a hyperlink.”
Hunter Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca Companions in 2009. The Senate report claimed Hunter Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca Thorton — the entity that got the alleged $3.5 million — in 2013. The Senate report stated Rosemont Seneca Thorton is a consortium of Rosemont Seneca Companions and the Thornton Group.
“The Thornton Group’s web site acknowledged that it has places of work in Boston and Beijing, lists Rosemont Seneca Companions amongst its checklist of alliances and purchasers, and consists of pictures from a number of occasions attended by Hunter Biden,” the Senate report stated.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer George Mesires denied final yr that he benefited from the $3.5 million fee to Rosemont Seneca Thornton. “Hunter Biden had little interest in and was not a co-founder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, so the claim that he was paid $3.5 million is fake,” Mesires stated in an announcement.
After the Senate report, a Delaware pc repairman offered to The Submit paperwork from a laptop computer previously belonging to Hunter Biden that detailed his father’s obvious connection to enterprise offers in China and Ukraine.
The repairman contacted the Senate Homeland Safety Committee and offered it with some of the paperwork at some point after it launched the report on Joe Biden’s obvious conflicts of curiosity in his son’s enterprise dealings, in addition to the alleged $3.5 million switch.
As of final month, the primary son nonetheless owned 10 p.c of an funding fund managed by Chinese language state-owned entities. The fund was shaped 12 days after Hunter Biden joined his father aboard Air Pressure Two for a December 2013 journey to Beijing.