Seven years ago, former Vice President Joe Biden told an audience of students at Yonsei University in South Korea that his son Hunter had just boarded a plane headed for the Philippines in his capacity as chairman of the nonprofit World Food Program USA organization.
While claiming he was “incredibly proud” of Hunter, without stating that his son was visiting that nation with a Secret Service entourage costing U.S. taxpayers $200,000, and it was definitely not the first time that happened.
According to an article posted on Monday by Yuichiro Kakutani, a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon website:
As Hunter Biden zipped across the globe for his business deals, taxpayers paid $193,696 for his Secret Service entourage, according to an official database that reports unclassified government expenditures.
That amount is nearly four times the recorded security bill of the four adult Trump children -- combined.
Kakutani explained that while his father was serving as vice president of the U.S., Hunter travelled with a Secret Service entourage to at least 10 different countries, including China, Qatar and South Africa, according to a government expenditure database. In addition, the son “racked up 28 separate bills, all of which involved taxpayer payments to a "miscellaneous foreign contractor" or described as a "miscellaneous foreign awardee."
Many of the bills explicitly said that the money was used to pay for accommodations for the Secret Service, but others were scant on details, Kakutani stated. With few details about Hunter’s travels publicly disclosed, that database is “far from a complete account” of his foreign activities.
However, the limited disclosures did indeed shed light on the taxpayer burden of Hunter's lucrative global business career, which far eclipses the Secret Service costs for other presidential and vice-presidential family members.
The Trump children combined, for example, are recorded to have spent about $40,000. The one exception to this rule is security costs for first ladies, the reporter noted.
Critics have denounced both Michelle Obama and Melania Trump for excessive security costs, but first ladies often -- though not always -- accrue those fees on official government visits, while Hunter Biden has never held an official government position.
Meanwhile, as frontrunner Joe Biden attempts to cement his place as the presumptive Democratic nominee, GOP senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson from Wisconsin have renewed congressional scrutiny of Biden's troubled son.
In a letter they sent to the Secret Service, Grassley and Johnson zeroed in on two examples of Hunter's foreign entanglement, one each in Ukraine and another in China. Hunter Biden was a board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father handled the Obama White House's Ukraine policy.
Of course, the people in the press have carefully avoided reporting any details of the Bidens’ financial affairs for a long time. Will they finally cover these scams during the 2020 presidential election, or give the family yet another free pass?