Donald Trump Jr. is hitting back at claims that his criticism of Hunter Biden is hypocritical, with a spokesman saying he is going after Biden “specifically for selling access to his father’s public office to enrich himself.”
“Claims that Don is being hypocritical for attacking Hunter Biden is nothing more than a straw man argument being used by Democrats and their friends in the media to protect Joe Biden’s failing presidential campaign,” a spokesman from Trump Jr. said in a statement to The Hill.
“Don isn’t attacking Hunter Biden because he has a famous father, he’s attacking him specifically for selling access to his father’s public office to enrich himself,” the spokesman said. “There’s a big difference between spending your entire life working your way up in a privately owned family business and leeching off the taxpayers to BECOME a family business based solely off your father’s political office.”
Trump Jr. sparked criticism from some media figures for suggesting Hunter Biden profited off of his father’s position as vice president during the Obama administration. Those critics have noted that Trump Jr. now oversees the Trump Organization, which has attracted business from foreign lobbyists and world leaders since President Trump took office.
Allies of Trump, including his adult sons, have claimed that Biden landed lucrative positions in Ukraine and China only because of his father’s standing as vice president.
Biden addressed the accusations in a recent interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” arguing he did nothing improper by serving on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president. He said he did not discuss the role with his father other than one “brief” exchange.
Biden acknowledged in the interview that he may have shown “poor judgment” in taking the position. He also conceded that his father’s standing likely played a role in his career.
Comedian Trevor Noah zeroed in on Trump’s sons in a segment of “The Daily Show” on Wednesday, suggesting they were hypocrites for attacking Biden when they themselves had benefited from their father’s position.
“Let’s be clear, I’m not defending Hunter Biden. I don’t know him. I don’t know about his business,” Noah said. “All I’m saying is the last people who should be talking about the blurred lines of family names and political influence are the people currently running their home office from the White House.”
Noah also noted that it was “not a good look” for Biden to take a position on the board of a company in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
“What I don’t understand is why these people are complaining about that,” Noah said, cutting to clips of Trump Jr. and Eric Trump criticizing the Bidens. Noah referenced recent reports that Trump Jr. would be paid $50,000 to speak at the campus of University of Florida, as well as reports on the Trump Organization’s foreign business dealings.
Trump’s adult sons have used media interviews and appearances at campaign rallies to criticize the Bidens. Eric Trump presided over a “lock him up” chant directed at Joe Biden during a Minnesota campaign rally last week.
In a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity that aired Wednesday, Trump Jr. asserted that Hunter Biden’s career was entirely “dependent” on his father’s political position.
“Why would they give all this money to the son — China and Ukraine — except that they’re really buying favor with the father,” Hannity said.
“Of course they are,” Trump Jr. responded. “And when you’re the father and your son’s entire career is dependent on that, they own you.”
Trump Jr. acknowledged in the interview that he has benefited from his own father’s position but argued there was a difference between what the Trump siblings accomplished in private business versus what Hunter Biden received when his father worked in the West Wing.
“I’m not going to say I’m not part of who I am because of my father. That would be foolish. But the difference is, we did it as capitalists. We did it as business people. We didn’t do it under the cloak of pretending Joe’s this great public servant, ‘Well here son, here’s every job you’ve ever had,’” Trump Jr. said.
The president and his allies’ attacks on the Bidens have increased in fervency since it was revealed that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations of corruption against Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, during a July 25 phone call. There is no evidence that the Bidens engaged in any criminal wrongdoing.
The phone call triggered an intelligence community whistleblower complaint alleging Trump was using his official position to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. The call is also at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.
The president has repeatedly defended his call with Zelensky as “perfect” and attacked Democrats for pursuing a “witch hunt” to damage his reelection prospects.
Brett Samuels contributed.