Former Vice President and current 2020 Democratic primary candidate Joe Biden wasn’t happy with a question a reporter lobbed his way.
Biden was asked on Friday whether his son Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine — which occurred while the elder Biden was actively dealing with the country as a diplomat as vice president — represented any conflict of interest or not.
“It’s not a conflict of interest,” Biden responded firmly while taking questions at a forum in Los Angeles hosted by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“There’s been no indication of any conflict of interest,” he added, “from Ukraine or anywhere else, period.”
He lost his cool almost immediately and even seemed stunned someone would ask him about the issue.
Biden turned the question around on the reporter — and brought up President Donald Trump.
“I’m not going to respond to that,” Biden added as he pointed directly at the reporter. “Let’s focus on the problem. Focus on this man — what he’s doing, that no president has ever done. No president.”
Watch Biden erupt at the reporter here:
WATCH: Joe Biden explodes when a reporter asks a very simple question:
"How was your role as Vice President in charge of policy in Ukraine and your son's job in Ukraine, how is that not a conflict of interest?"
Biden: "I'm not going to respond to that!"
What is he hiding? pic.twitter.com/jbycKLARhE
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) October 4, 2019
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Biden had told media members as well that he and his son had not discussed the younger Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine — when reporters asked him about a photo of the two Bidens taken at a golf course with one of Hunter Biden’s former Ukrainian business partners.
During that encounter, Biden also turned the conversation immediately around to Trump, as Fox News and other outlets pointed out.
“This is the guy that’s unhinged,” Biden insisted of Trump. “He is unhinged. I worry about what he’s going to do — not about me or my family,” he added. “I’m worried about what he’ll do in the next year in the presidency, as this thing continues to rot on his watch.”
“The American people know me, and they know him,” he added.
At a different event and occasion, Biden said he had sometimes discussed things with his son.
Hunter Biden — during his father’s term as vice president under former President Barack Obama — served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, though Hunter Biden had no experience with a natural gas company or any special knowledge of the industry.
Hunter Biden earned $50,000 per month for his work on the board.
This conflict of interest “is the very definition of swampy behavior that Americans are tired of seeing,” as Townhall noted. “Biden has done absolutely nothing to shed light or even try to defend his actions — probably because he knew they were wrong. Instead, he’s deflected onto Trump. Apparently we should be angry at Trump for bringing up the Bidens’ corrupt behavior, not at the actually corrupt behavior itself.”
On Friday, Ukraine’s top prosecutor announced that his office is “conducting an audit” of the investigation of Burisma Holdings.
Ruslan Ryaboshapka, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, revealed at a press conference hat his office would look into various cases that had been investigated and then closed — in order to ensure that they were handled correctly, as many news outlets reported.
One of the cases he’ll be looking into, according to the same reports, is the Burisma investigation, though as of right now, no evidence has been presented of wrongdoing by Joe Biden or Hunter Biden in Ukraine.
Trump said on Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House that if Ukraine “were honest about it,” it “would start a major investigation against the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer.”
“Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened with the Bidens in China is just about as bad,” Trump also said.
Democrats were quick to pounce on him for that.
“President [Volodymyr] Zelensky — if it were me I would recommend they start an investigation into the Bidens because nobody has any doubt that they aren’t crooked,” Trump also declared.
Trump also took to Twitter early on Friday to defend his calls for Ukraine to launch this investigation.
“As president I have an obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries,” Trump tweeted.
“It is done all the time. This has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens.”
“This does have to do with their corruption!” he said.
Democrats — under the watch of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — launched an impeachment inquiry early last week against Trump regarding a July phone call he had with the president of Ukraine.
As part of their longer conversation on July 25, Trump asked him to investigate Biden and his son’s ties to the country with the goal of checking on corruption.
Trump, specifically, would like to know how Hunter Biden ended up on Burisma’s board during the time his own father was actively serving as vice president.
The White House released a full transcript of the phone conversation — something that took the mainstream media by surprise.
Biden himself admitted he put pressure on Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had been looking into the company’s founder — though Democrats say his reason for doing this was concerns about corruption.
Joe Biden proudly acknowledged on camera in January 2018 that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid if the prosecutor was not fired.
Biden has slipped in the polls recently — as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has gained — and his fundraising numbers have dropped. But he remains, for now, a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The next Democratic debate will take place on October 15 in Ohio.
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