Hunter Biden maintained that he did nothing improper while serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company when his father and Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden was serving as vice president.
“I’m a human. Did I make a mistake? Well maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not,” he said during an interview on “Good Morning America” that aired Tuesday.
It was Biden’s first interview since his overseas dealings came into the spotlight.
While Biden said he did not specifically regret his business ventures, he said he wished he’d foreseen it as a political liability.
In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Biden’s business interests have become a frequent point of attack for President Trump, who’s lambasted the 49-year-old’s ties to both Ukraine and China.
Biden’s foreign connections also prompted Trump to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to investigate the 2020 hopeful, as well as his son -- consequently leading to an impeachment inquiry into the chief executive from House Democrats, who’ve accused him of intentionally withholding almost $400 million in aid.
“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this -- this ridiculous conspiracy idea,” he said.
Giuliani and Trump have claimed that Biden leveraged his name to earn $1.5 billion from Chinese investors, who were seeking to curry favor with the vice president.
“When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund — and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China — and he’s there for one quick meeting, and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing. I think it’s a horrible thing,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Zelenskiy on Sept. 25.
But Biden disputed that claim, saying it had "no basis in fact."
"They feel like they have the license to go out and say whatever they want," he said. "It feels to me like living in some kind of, you know, "Alice in Wonderland," where you're up on the real world and then you fall down the rabbit hole, and, you know, the president's the Cheshire Cat asking you questions about crazy things that don't bear any resemblance to the reality of anything that has to do with me."
According to The New York Times, Biden had served as a board member at the BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company since late 2013. He purchased about 10 percent of the company for roughly $420,000 in 2017 (when his father was no longer vice president).
The $1.5 billion that Trump is referencing is seemingly about a sum BHR was trying to raise in 2014 to invest outside of China, according to a Wall Street Journal report at the time. Biden also claimed that he made no many during his dealings with the firm.
Biden will step down from the board later this month, his lawyer said in a statement on Sunday. If Joe Biden nabs the Democratic nomination and defeats Trump in the 2020 election, Hunter vowed to "not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies," his attorney said.