Bidens Assure NBC That Bidens Have Done Nothing Wrong

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During a laughable report on Wednesday’s Today show about corruption concerns swirling around Joe Biden and his son Hunter, NBC News White House correspondent Hallie Jackson cited Biden spokespersons seven different times to supposedly fact check and unsurprisingly dismiss any accusations of wrongdoing.

“And now to another key figure in the impeachment story, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. This morning, his business deals during his father’s time as vice president are drawing new scrutiny,” co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged as she introduced the segment. Jackson lamented that President Trump was “trying to highlight the Bidens’ connection to a different country,” China, and immediately cited the Biden campaign trying to knock down the “questionable allegations” by labeling them “conspiracy theories.”

 

 

The correspondent briefly explained the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden’s suspicious business dealings in China while his father was vice president:

A 2013 trip to China getting new attention this morning, not for what Joe Biden did, but for who he brought with him. His son, Hunter, joining the then-Vice President on the official visit to Beijing, along with Hunter’s daughter Finnegan. Unknown to the press back then, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund, planning to raise money, including from Chinese investors.

Rather than talk to a governmental ethics expert or some other objective source, Jackson followed: “Years later, Hunter Biden acknowledged that during the trip he met with a Chinese banker, which his spokesperson describes as a social visit, not a business one.”

If a member of the Trump family was accused of something similar, would the media ever settle for the explanation that a meeting with a major foreign banker during an official diplomatic trip was just a “social visit”?

Jackson then mentioned what happened shortly after that supposedly non-business meeting: “Ten days after the Bidens’ trip, Shanghai authorities issued the fund’s business license...” She seemed to complain that it was “something President Trump has seized on as he pushes back against the impeachment inquiry.”

After playing a soundbite of Trump highlighting, “Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund,” Jackson again relied on the Bidens themselves to fact check the claim:

But according to Hunter Biden’s spokesperson, the company itself filed its paperwork a month before Air Force Two took off for China, with the fund in the works for months prior. As for that claim the company was worth $1.5 billion, not even close, his spokesperson says. More like just over $4 million, with Hunter Biden putting up 10%. And even that didn’t happen until 2017, four years after the China visit, since Biden was initially an unpaid board adviser, not a company owner, his spokesperson says. There have been no allegations of corruption or impropriety on the part of the former Vice President.

The only slight note of journalistic skepticism in the piece came from NBC’s national political reporter Josh Lederman, who was assigned to the Vice President Biden’s 2013 China trip: “It didn’t strike us as unusual at the time to see Hunter Biden on the trip. But we didn’t know that behind the scenes Hunter Biden was meeting with a Chinese banker that he was starting a private equity fund with.”

Wrapping up the report, Jackson turned to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign once again to reject any of the legitimate questions about Hunter Biden’s overseas business: “Biden’s 2020 campaign calling the President’s claims a ‘dismantled conspiracy theory,’ adding, ‘Donald Trump’s degradation of his office is unacceptable and speaks to his recognition of what 70 polls have made clear, Joe Biden would beat him like a drum.’”

Jackson specifically added: “And Biden advisers tell me after having seen the Trump playbook at work in 2016 they want to make sure they are aggressively fighting back against what they see as baseless claims against their candidate.”

At least NBC was willingly to devote nearly three minutes of air time to topic. A Media Research Center study released on Tuesday found that the three main broadcast networks – NBC, ABC, and CBS – offered a combined seven hours of coverage to Trump’s Ukraine phone call over a ten-day period, but only 46 minutes to Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal in the eastern European country.  

Help fight back against the media's impeachment crusade

Here is a full transcript of Jackson’s October 2 report:

7:11 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And now to another key figure in the impeachment story, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. This morning, his business deals during his father’s time as vice president are drawing new scrutiny. Our chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson has got that part of the story. Hey, Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Savannah, good morning. These revelations at the heart of the whistleblower complaint, that President Trump asked a foreign leader to search for information to back up unproven claims about Joe and Hunter Biden, involve Ukraine. Well, now, the President’s trying to highlight the Bidens’ connection to a different country, making more questionable allegations, described by the Biden camp as conspiracy theories.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Biden China Trip Under Scrutiny; New Questions Surrounding Official Travel With Son Hunter]

A 2013 trip to China getting new attention this morning, not for what Joe Biden did, but for who he brought with him. His son, Hunter, joining the then-Vice President on the official visit to Beijing, along with Hunter’s daughter Finnegan. Unknown to the press back then, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund, planning to raise money, including from Chinese investors. Years later, Hunter Biden acknowledged that during the trip he met with a Chinese banker, which his spokesperson describes as a social visit, not a business one. Ten days after the Bidens’ trip, Shanghai authorities issued the fund’s business license, something President Trump has seized on as he pushes back against the impeachment inquiry.

DONALD TRUMP: 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.

JACKSON: But according to Hunter Biden’s spokesperson, the company itself filed its paperwork a month before Air Force Two took off for China, with the fund in the works for months prior. As for that claim the company was worth $1.5 billion, not even close, his spokesperson says. More like just over $4 million, with Hunter Biden putting up 10%. And even that didn’t happen until 2017, four years after the China visit, since Biden was initially an unpaid board adviser, not a company owner, his spokesperson says. There have been no allegations of corruption or impropriety on the part of the former Vice President.

NBC’s Josh Lederman traveled to China with the Bidens on that 2013 trip.

JOSH LEDERMAN [NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER]: It didn’t strike us as unusual at the time to see Hunter Biden on the trip. But we didn’t know that behind the scenes Hunter Biden was meeting with a Chinese banker that he was starting a private equity fund with.

JACKSON: Biden’s 2020 campaign calling the President’s claims a “dismantled conspiracy theory,” adding, “Donald Trump’s degradation of his office is unacceptable and speaks to his recognition of what 70 polls have made clear, Joe Biden would beat him like a drum.” And Biden advisers tell me after having seen the Trump playbook at work in 2016 they want to make sure they are aggressively fighting back against what they see as baseless claims against their candidate. Savannah?  

GUTHRIE: Alright, Hallie Jackson, thank you.

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