Discussion of President Biden and son Hunter Biden’s communications with foreign business partners was off-the-table during the latest White House press conference.
National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby got into a back-and-forth spat with a reporter who on Friday ead the entirety of a purported WhatsApp text message linking the president to his son’s foreign dealings.
Asked if the WhatsApp message undermines the president’s claims that he had no knowledge of his son’s overseas activities, Kirby replied, “No, and I’m not going to comment further on this.”
The reporter attempted to press further but was shut down by Kirby.
“James, James, let me save you some breath if you’re going to ask about this. I am not going to address this issue from this podium,” Kirby interrupted. “I’m just not going to do it. All right? I’m not going to do it.”
After the reporter attempted to say he had more questions, Kirby added, “I know you do, more than I’d like you to have.”
The NSC strategic communications coordinator then left the podium, wishing the press pool a good weekend.
An IRS whistleblower on the Hunter Biden probe told Congress that the president’s son invoked his father to pressure a Chinese business partner and claimed the elder Biden was in the room while he was making deals.
One whistleblower, IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley Jr. — who oversaw the IRS probe into the president’s son — said the IRS obtained a WhatsApp message dated July 30, 2017, from Hunter Biden to Henry Zhao, CEO of Harvest Fund Management, in which Hunter alleged he was with his father and named him to put pressure on Zhao to fulfill a commitment.
“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 and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”
“I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father,” Biden said.
If the claims made in the message are true, they starkly contradict President Biden’s repeated insistence that he had no knowledge of son Hunter’s business dealings.
A Hunter Biden attorney said in a statement, “Any verifiable words or actions of my client, in the midst of a horrible addiction, are solely his own and have no connection to anyone in his family.”
White House Counsel’s Office spokesman Ian Sams said, “As we have said many times before, the President was not in business with his son.”
“As we have also said many times before, the Justice Department makes decisions in its criminal investigations independently, and in this case, the White House has not been involved,” Sams continued. “As the President has said, he loves his son and is proud of him accepting responsibility for his actions and is proud of what he is doing to rebuild his life.”