Joe Biden has finally granted a TV interview -- to Norah O'Donnell on 60 Minutes. But O'Donnell granted a fairly typical CBS interview offering typical anti-Trump softballs that didn't clarify President Trump's charges against Biden and his son Hunter, but confused them further.
O'Donnell puffed up Biden by telling him "The Russians are targeting you." Biden replied "The Russians don't want me to be president and Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee. Then she offered another non-question.
O'DONNELL: But President Trump says Russian interference is a hoax.
BIDEN: He's an idiot -- in terms of saying that. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows it. Nobody doubts it.
President Trump has routinely dismissed the theory of Trump collusion with the Russians as a "hoax." But he has acknowledged the larger reality of Russian "interference" in the election in social-media campaigns.
O'DONNELL: While Facebook removed the fake Russian accounts, it refused a request by Biden's campaign to take down political ads paid for by theTrump campaign making claims that Biden says are not true.
TRUMP AD CLIP: Joe Biden promised Ukraine a billion dollars if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son's company.
BIDEN: Facebook is running right now -- paid advertising by Trump that everybody knows is a flat lie. You know, I'm glad they brought the Russians down. Why don't you bring down the lies that trump is telling and everybody knows are lies?
The CBS interviewer doesn't challenge that in any way. Instead, she suggested that the "lie" is going to win by being repeated:
O'DONNELL: Are you concerned that the president, saying this over and over again, his campaign ads saying over and over again, that people will start to believe it? He's attacking your integrity.
BIDEN: Sure he is. And-- but it's comin' from a man with no integrity so it helps. ( Laughs) No, I-- I sincerely mean it. I-- I never thought I'd talk about a president this way.
Both the Democrats and their media allies just complain in public that someone might believe the Bidens were sleazy -- not just Hunter, but Biden's brother Tom, which didn't come up. O'Donnell explained briefly that while Vice President Biden was given the portfolio of Ukraine policy, his son served on the board of a Ukrainian oil and ga company: "Hunter Biden was reportedly paid $50,000 to $80,000 a month for several years while serving on Burisma's board." She didn't explain how much experience Hunter had in that industry -- zero. CBS just cued up the tale Biden tells:
O'DONNELL: Hunter said the only thing you said to him was, quote, "I hope you know what you're doing."
BIDEN: That's exactly right. He's a grown man --
O'DONNELL: What do you--
BIDEN: What I meant by that is I hope you've thought this through. I hope you know exactly what you're doin' here.
O'DONNELL: Meaning what?
BIDEN: That's all I meant. Nothing more than that because I've never discussed my business or their business, my sons' or daughter's. And I've never discussed them because they know where I have to do my job and that's it and they have to make their own judgments.
A serious reporter would push back on the notion that there were no conversations in all this family business. Would O'Donnell accept Trump saying he never talked business with his children? For one minute? But O'Donnell could only offer the mild rebuke a fellow Democrat would offer, while flattering him as a statesman:
O'DONNELL: But you understand people say, "Joe Biden, he's an experienced politician, statesman, knows the issues of Ukraine. Why didn't he just say to his son, 'this is one to take a pass on. It may not look good'"?
BIDEN: He was already on the board. And he's a grown man. And it turns out he did not do a single thing wrong, as everybody's investigated.
He's never done a single thing wrong? Where is the pushback? But CBS simply cued him up to trash-talk Trump:
O'DONNELL: President Trump has said publicly, "Joe Biden and his son are stone cold corrupt." And chances are, he's watching this interview. Anything you wanna say to him?
BIDEN: Yeah. Mr. President, release your tax returns. Let's see how straight you are, okay old buddy? I put out 21 years of mine. So show us your tax returns, bud-- wh-- what are you hiding? You wanna deal with corruption? Start to act like it. Release your tax returns or shut up.