Presidential Debate 2020: Trump challenges Joe Biden on son Hunter


President Donald Trump twice leveled slashing attacks on Joe Biden’s son Hunter about his business dealings and drug problem at Tuesday night’s debate – and both times it was a line by Biden that prompted him to go on offense.

Trump, aided by fresh research from a Republican-run committee, tore into Hunter Biden’s overseas business arrangements including deals while Joe Biden was serving as vice president.

But after one angry attack, Biden sought to turn the tables, vaguely referencing Trump’s kin and telling the camera: ‘This is not about family. It’s about your family.’  

Vice President Joe Biden

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged angry words after Trump attacked Biden’s son, Hunter

He's my son and I'm proud of him: Joe Biden said that Hunter, his only surviving son, had 'fixed' his drug problem 'like a lot of people'

He’s my son and I’m proud of him: Joe Biden said that Hunter, his only surviving son, had ‘fixed’ his drug problem ‘like a lot of people’

WORST MOMENTS OF THE DUMPSTER FIRE DEBATE

‘PROUD BOYS – STAND BACK AND STAND BY’

Trump was asked by Wallace to condemn white supremacists and militias. ‘Sure, I’m willing to do that.’ ‘Then do it, sir,’ Wallace said – and Biden shouted ‘do it, say it.’ Trump asked for a ‘name’ and Biden said: ‘Proud Boys.’

‘Proud boys – stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left,’ Trump said.

 ‘SHUT UP’

Biden told Trump: ‘Would you shut up, man?,’ after getting interrupted repeatedly when discussing the Supreme Court. As Trump spoke over Chris Wallace Biden said: ‘Keep yapping.’ 

HUNTER AND COCAINE

Biden spoke of his dead son Beau’s decorated service in Iraq. ‘I didn’t know Beau. I know Hunter. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use,’ Trump said of Hunter Biden. ‘That’s not true.’ Biden responded. Hunter got an ‘administrative discharge.’ 

‘CLOWN SHOW’ 

‘It’s hard to get any word in with this clown – excuse me, this person,’ Biden said.

TRUMP GOES AFTER BIDEN’S BRAINS 

‘There’s nothing smart about you Joe,’ Trump told Biden. Biden had said ‘a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter.’

BIDEN GOES AFTER TRUMP ON TRUTH

‘Everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar,’ Biden said of Trump. 

TRUMP SPARS WITH WALLACE  

Moderator Chris Wallace begging Trump to follow the rules. ‘I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question and then you can answer,’ he said at one point. 

TRUMP CASTS DOUBT ON WHOLE ELECTION 

Trump again attacked mail-in ballots. ‘This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen.’ He said. ‘We might not know for months because these ballots are going to be all over,’ he said.  

TRUMP’S WAR WITH WALLACE 

‘I guess I’m debating you and not him but that’s okay I’m not surprised.’ 

BLEACH IN THE ARM 

‘And by the way maybe inject some bleach into your arm, that’ll take care of it,’ Biden said, mocking Trump’s statement about injecting disinfectant to treat coronavirus.

 

After days of foreshadowing that he would try go after Biden by hitting his son for corruption, it took a long stretch before President Trump got to the issue that has become a feature of his press conferences and Fox News appearances. 

Unexpectedly, it was Biden who was the first to bring up China – a place where Hunter Biden did business – as he blasted Trump for the trade deals he has negotiated and sought to undermine Trump’s claims of bringing back manufacturing jobs.

Coming about halfway through the debate, it jolted Trump into bringing his attacks on Hunter Biden.

‘China ate your lunch, Joe!’ Trump scolded him.

‘And no wonder your son goes in and he takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars.’ It was a reference to business Hunter Biden did with his firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC and business it secured in China. 

Trump brought up a Senate Republican report that claimed Hunter got $3.5 million from the wealthy wife of the former Mayor of Moscow. Hunter Biden’s lawyer has denied the characterization and said funds were wired to the firm.

‘What did he do to deserve it?’ Trump asked.

‘My son did nothing wrong in Burisma,’ said Biden – after Trump expanded his attack to Hunter Biden’s lucrative seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm.

It resulted in still more angry cross-talk at a debate that set new standards for interruptions and intensity.

‘He doesn’t want to let me answer because he knows I have the truth,’ Biden said.

‘It’s hard to get any word in with this clown – excuse me, this person,’ Biden said after delivering the insult.

‘His family we could talk about all night,’ Biden said, but stopping short of specifics, as White House advisor Ivanka Trump and Trump Organization execs Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in the audience.

Then, Biden faced the camera and delivered a line meant to shut down the attack. ‘This is not about my family or his family. It’s about your family,’ he told viewers.

‘He doesn’t want to talk about what you need … The American people. That’s what we’re talking about here,’ Biden scolded.

More than an hour into the angry clash, Biden said Trump ‘never keeps his word,’ and brought up comments that sources told the Atlantic Trump made about fallen troops – referring to them as ‘suckers’ and ‘losers.’ Trump again denied it.

Biden made an impassioned pitch for his late son Beau’s military service. He spent a year in Iraq serving in the National Guard. 

‘Speaking of my son, the way you talk about the military — the way you talk about them being losers and being, and just being suckers — my son was in Iraq and he spent a year there,’ Biden said.

‘He got the Bronze Star. He got the Conspicuous Service Medal. He was not a loser. He was a patriot. And the people left behind there were heroes,’ said Biden. 

‘You talking about Hunter?’ Trump asked, rhetorically after Biden mentioned his son.

Biden answered he was speaking of Beau.  

‘I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter,’ Trump interrupted, then amped up his attacks. 

‘He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use. And he didn’t have a job until you became vice president,’ Trump said.

‘That’s not true. None of that is true,’ Biden responded.    

‘He made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow, in various other places,’ Trump said. 

Start of exchange: Joe Biden tried to attack Donald Trump over claims he called dead troops 'suckers' and 'losers' by highlighting his late son Beau's service in Iraq where he earned the Bronze Star

Start of exchange: Joe Biden tried to attack Donald Trump over claims he called dead troops ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’ by highlighting his late son Beau’s service in Iraq where he earned the Bronze Star

Trump family: The First Lady posed for a backstage selfie alongside her stepdaughters Ivanka and Tiffany, and her stepson Eric's wife Lara

Trump family: The First Lady posed for a backstage selfie alongside her stepdaughters Ivanka and Tiffany, and her stepson Eric’s wife Lara 

Hunter Biden received an administrative discharge from the Navy in after failing a drug test for cocaine in 2013. He was seeking to be commissioned as a reserve officer. He did not receive a dishonorable discharge, but an administrative one, according to press accounts at the time. 

Biden responded: ‘My son, like a lot of people we know at home, he had a drug problem.’

‘He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it,’ Biden said. ‘And I’m proud of him.’

WHAT TRUMP WAS TALKING ABOUT: Hunter Biden sent ‘thousands of dollars to women with ties to Eastern European prostitution and sex trafficking rings’ while father Joe was overseeing US policy in Ukraine, GOP report claimed

Hunter Biden allegedly sent ‘thousands of dollars’ to people who may have been involved in Eastern European prostitution and sex trafficking rings, according to report released last Wednesday by Senate Republicans.

The report cited unspecified records which indicate that Biden ‘has sent funds to non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine.’

The 87-page report was released on Wednesday by the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee, and focuses on Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. 

Senator Ron Johnson

Hunter Biden

A report released by a group of Senate Republicans headed by Senator Ron Johnson (left) alleges that Hunter Biden (right) sent thousands of dollars to individuals who may have been linked to Eastern European prostitution and sex trafficking rings

‘The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what “appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring”.’

The allegations were mentioned in a footnote to a part of the report that delves into ‘criminal concerns and extortion threats’ involving Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family, according to the New York Post.

The report also mentions ‘extensive public reporting concerning Hunter Biden’s alleged involvement with prostitution services.’

‘Records on file with the Committees do not directly confirm or refute these individual reports,’ the report says.

‘However, they do confirm that Hunter Biden sent thousands of dollars to individuals who have either: 1) been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; 2) an association with the adult entertainment industry; or 3) potential association with prostitution.’

The report also revealed that Biden had a ‘financial relationship’ with the widow of a Moscow mayor who was ousted over corruption allegations. 

The report did not implicate Joe Biden in wrongdoing, focusing instead on his son Hunter, who it said ‘cashed in’ on his father’s position by joining the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

It also states that on Valentine’s Day in 2014, Hunter Biden’s company Rosemont Seneca Thornton received a $3.5 million wire from Elena Baturina, a Russian billionaire and the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. 

Hunter Biden had a 'financial relationship' with the ex-wife of a Moscow mayor who was ousted over corruption allegations, according to a report from Republican senators

Hunter Biden had a ‘financial relationship’ with the ex-wife of a Moscow mayor who was ousted over corruption allegations, according to a report from Republican senators

Biden's firm received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina (above)

Baturina with Vladimir Putin

Biden’s firm received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina (left, and right with Vladimir Putin), the richest woman in Russia with a fortune of $1.2 billion

In 2010, Russia’s president fired Luzhkov as mayor over corruption allegations, which were never proven in court prior to his death last year.

Baturina, with an estimated fortune of $1.2 billion, is the richest woman in Russia. Much of her fortune was built with construction firm Inteco, which dominated the construction business in Moscow, thanks in part to lucrative government contracts.

The GOP report also states that between May 6, 2015 and December 8, 2015, Baturina sent 11 wires in the amount of $391,968.21 to a bank account belonging to BAK USA LLC, a technology startup based in Buffalo, New York. The transactions all listed ‘Loan Agreement’ in the payment details section.

Nine of the 11 transactions, totaling $241,797.14 were first sent from Baturina’s accounts to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account, which then transferred to the money to BAK USA, according to the report.

BAK USA, which proposed to manufacture computer tablets in partnership with unnamed Chinese partners, was repeatedly touted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a success story in his tax-break scheme to lure startups. 

The company filed for bankruptcy liquidation in 2019 with $39.4 million in debts and just $147,000 in assets. It’s unclear what connection Hunter Biden or his firm had to the now-defunct company.

Baturina is the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (with her above). In 2010, Russia's president fired Luzhkov as mayor over corruption allegations, which were never proven

Baturina is the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (with her above). In 2010, Russia’s president fired Luzhkov as mayor over corruption allegations, which were never proven

The report also highlighted payments that Baturina made to Hunter Biden's firm, which were then passed on to a tech startup in Buffalo touted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (above). The startup, BAK USA, later declared bankruptcy with net debt of $39 million

The report also highlighted payments that Baturina made to Hunter Biden’s firm, which were then passed on to a tech startup in Buffalo touted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (above). The startup, BAK USA, later declared bankruptcy with net debt of $39 million

Joe Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com on Wednesday seeking comment about his alleged financial relationship with Baturina.

However, Biden’s campaign immediately panned the report, released six weeks before the election, as an effort by an ally of President Donald Trump’s to damage his election opponent. 

The campaign said the investigation was founded on ‘a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory’ and, even before the report was released, issued a detailed statement aiming to rebut point-by-point allegations that it said had long been debunked by media organizations as well as by U.S. and Ukrainian officials. 

The Biden family also rushed to defend Hunter with his daughter Naomi, the former VP’s eldest grandchild, writing a lengthy Twitter thread in his honor. 

In her personal tribute, Naomi, 26, said that she was giving an account ‘free of the corrosive influence of power-at-all-costs politics’ of the ‘truth of a man filled with love, integrity, and human struggles’. 

Naomi Biden, pictured right, with the former VP and her sister Finnegan

Naomi Biden, pictured right, with the former VP and her sister Finnegan

Naomi Biden, 26, shared a lengthy Twitter thread about her dad on Wednesday

Naomi Biden, 26, shared a lengthy Twitter thread about her dad on Wednesday

She claimed that her dad ‘never sought the spotlight’ and worked to help his late brother Beau ‘achieve his dream’. 

Naomi said that Hunter and Beau ‘were one. One heart, one soul, one mind’ and that her dad had worked to pay of his brother’s college and law school loans while putting his own ambitions on hold. 

She added that when she was first born, she and her parents lived in ‘a house that, although no bigger than my freshman year dorm room, was all we needed to call home’ after Hunter successfully transferred to Yale.  

‘When my uncle got sick,’ she continued, ‘my dad never missed a single doctors appointment or chemo treatment. When he got sicker, my dad lived out of a suitcase and slept in the chair next to his hospital bed for two months. He held his hand as he lost his brother and a big piece of himself too.’

‘The pain he has endured would be enough to make a lesser man give up on life all together,’ Naomi concluded. 

‘But despite the best efforts of an cruel few to destroy a private man, he is sober, happy, and as at peace as ever today because as long his family needs him, he has not lost his purpose.’

In an long Twitter post, Naomi Biden, 26, defended her father Hunter

In an long Twitter post, Naomi Biden, 26, defended her father Hunter

Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine remains a prominent line of attack in conservative circles heading into the election. 

Trump himself has repeatedly drawn attention to the issue, with his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens spurring an impeachment case against him. 

He’s continued to trumpet the claims even as his own administration has warned of a concerted Russian effort to denigrate Joe Biden and has asserted that a Ukrainian lawmaker who is involved in spreading an ‘unsubstantiated’ anti-Biden narrative has been an ‘active Russian agent’ for over a decade. 

On Wednesday, Fox host Sean Hannity claimed the report should ‘immediately disqualify’ Biden from the presidential race, claiming the investigation showed Hunter’s ‘illicit and corrupt activities’ and revealed ‘how he profited while his father was in charge of Ukrainian policy’. 

‘Why did you allow your son to use your position as vice president as leverage to make millions of dollars from sketchy oligarchs [in] Russia, China, Ukraine, all over the world? Did you make any money from these deals?’ Hannity asked of Biden.’

‘Is this why you refused to stand up to China and refused to support the travel ban, and you’d rather attack Donald Trump, who wisely implemented that travel ban ten days after the first identified case of corona? 

The report did not implicate Joe Biden in wrongdoing, focusing instead on his son Hunter, who it said 'cashed in' on his father's position as vice president

The report did not implicate Joe Biden in wrongdoing, focusing instead on his son Hunter, who it said ‘cashed in’ on his father’s position as vice president

‘Was Joe Biden compromised? Is it because maybe he wanted more deals for Hunter? Why? So the family can get even more millions?’ he questioned. 

Hannity then questioned the Democrat reaction if it had been a member of Trump’s family who had been named in such a report. 

‘Imagine if this was Donald Trump Jr. or Eric Trump or Ivanka Trump or Barron Trump. Imagine the hysteria … Imagine when your name is Hunter Biden and your dad is running as a Democrat for president of the United States,’ he said.  

The investigation, from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee, produced stark political divisions. 

Democrats have accused Republican Senator Ron Johnson, the Homeland Security chair, of a politically motivated initiative at a time when they say the committee should be focused on the pandemic response and other, less partisan issues.

Johnson has acknowledged in interviews that he hoped to complete the report before the election, telling The Associated Press last month that the ‘American people deserve the truth’ about his probe. 

But he has also been on the defensive over Democratic accusations that his investigation was serving to amplify Russian disinformation. He has denied receiving information from Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker singled out by intelligence officials.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk