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Hunter Biden defends Burisma role, says Trump used it in “illegitimate way”

 

President Biden’s son Hunter is dealing head-on with decisions that put him front and center of the 2020 presidential campaign in his new memoir, “Beautiful Things.”

The book is a revealing look at his long battle with addiction, and how he has handled personal tragedies.

He spoke with “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason about whether his business dealings ever crossed a line — including work for a Ukrainian company that became a big issue in President Trump’s first impeachment, and whether he regrets putting his father’s political future at risk.

“The question of whether I would do it again though, is no,” he said.

In the memoir Biden defends his decision to serve on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father oversaw U.S. policy in the region as vice president.

“You grew up in politics. Did you not think you might be putting a big bullseye on yourself?” Mason asked.

Biden said he did not “fully comprehend the level to which this former administration and the people around it would go.”

“The difference between the politics that you’re talking about in terms of the last, you know, four years… is a very different game,” he said. “And I don’t want — ever want to again to hand a weapon to people that would use it in an illegitimate way — that they use the weapon of me against my dad.”

Near the end of the 2020 campaign, another problem arose. Allies of President Trump and supporters in the media promoted possibly incriminating documents found on a laptop that may have belonged to Hunter Biden.

The laptop had been delivered to the FBI by the owner of a Delaware computer store.

Biden only references the laptop in his book once.

Mason asked if the laptop was really his.

“You don’t need a laptop. You got a book. The book — it’s all in the book. And I don’t know,” he answered with a laugh.

Biden continued, “the serious answer is that I truly do not know the answer to that.”

He said he did not remember leaving a laptop with a repair shop in Delaware.

“But whether or not somebody has my laptop, whether or not it was a — I was hacked, whether or not there exists a laptop at all, I truly don’t know,” he said.

While he said he did not know if he was missing a laptop, Biden noted that “read the book and you’ll realize that I wasn’t keeping tabs on possessions very well for about a four-year period of time.”

At the end of 2020, Biden acknowledged an ongoing investigation by federal authorities for potential tax law violations. When asked if his legal team was working on any kind of plea deal, Biden said no.

He told Anthony Mason that he was committed to being “completely cooperative” with the proper authorities should they need something from him.

Asked about whether President Biden ever benefited financially from his son’s business dealings or received money from him, Hunter Biden confidently said “no.”

“Nothing, ever,” he said. “Not a nickel… Directly or indirectly, not a nickel, ever.”

In 2018, near the height of his battle with addiction, Biden misplaced a handgun, sparking a law enforcement investigation.

New details emerged in March that the Secret Service may have gotten involved improperly.

“It’s a concern that I would hurt myself or do something,” Biden said.

Mason asked, “Hallie, your brother’s widow, threw the gun away. She was trying to protect you?”

Biden thought she was.

“I think she was just concerned about me,” he said, adding that he was going through a difficult period in his life at the time.

He said Hallie’s intent had been “to make certain that I didn’t do anything to hurt myself.”

The Secret Service had reportedly at one point looked for the record of sale.

Biden said he had no idea of that and was not aware at the time.

However, he acknowledged that authorities had been made aware of the loss of a gun.

“They had, in the moment, you know, we knew that the gun was lost. That Hallie had thrown it into a trash can. And I told her, ‘You can’t do that’ when I realized that it was gone,” he said. “And so she went back and they — the police came to help retrieve the gun, which was retrieved. Someone had gone through the trash and picked it up and they found it, within hours I believe. And so that was the end of the story.”

Mason asked again if he was aware of Secret Service involvement.

“I had no idea. I don’t know whether the Secret Service were or what — why they would be? I don’t think that that’s true. To my knowledge,” Biden said.

The Secret Service told CBS News it has no record of its agents being involved in the incident, and President Joe Biden was not under protection at the time.

“Beautiful Things” will be released Tuesday, April 6 by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS.


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