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23 Jun, 2023 20:59

White House stonewalls reporters on Biden corruption

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby walked out of a briefing when quizzed on the president’s dealings with China
White House stonewalls reporters on Biden corruption

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sparred with reporters on Friday over allegations that President Joe Biden and his son Hunter took part in a scheme to pressure a Chinese businessman. 

During a White House press conference, Newsmax reporter James Rosen read the entirety of a 2017 text message purportedly sent by Hunter Biden to Henry Zhao, a Chinese government official and businessman with whom the president’s son was negotiating a business deal.

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter Biden allegedly wrote to Zhao, contradicting the president’s repeated assertion that he never had any knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings. “Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” Hunter continued. “And, 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… that you will regret not following my direction.”

The message was handed to a Republican investigative committee by an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower last month, and its authenticity has not been challenged by the Biden administration. That person led a probe into Hunter’s tax affairs in 2020, but turned to the GOP panel to allege that the Justice Department covered up tax fraud by the president’s son.

Kirby refused to comment on the text message. "I'm just not going to do it. All right? I'm not going to do it,” he replied to Rosen, before leaving the podium and ending the briefing.

Speaking after Kirby, Jean-Pierre also refused to comment, saying that her colleague had “addressed” the topic earlier. Pressed by multiple reporters, Jean-Pierre stressed that she was "not going to get into family discussion, personal family discussion.”

Biden’s foreign business dealings are currently being investigated by the Republican-run House Oversight Committee, while his tax affairs are being probed by the House Ways and Means Committee. In the Senate, Republican lawmakers have also applied pressure on the Bidens, alleging that they took bribes from a Ukrainian gas executive while Joe Biden was vice president.

The allegations against the Biden family surfaced before the 2020 election, when the New York Post published documents found on Hunter’s laptop. The files detail Hunter’s involvement in numerous foreign business ventures, including a highly-paid stint on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm, multimillion-dollar deals in China that hinged on introducing partners to his father, and an alleged scheme to arrange funding for a Pentagon contractor to study hazardous biological agents in Ukraine.