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Hunter Biden admits Ukrainian board stance created negative ‘perception’

Then-US Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in a 2010 basketball game – Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS

Hunter Biden admitted to creating a negative “perception” he lacked at the time after taking a job at a Ukrainian gas company when his father Joe Biden was vice president.

The 51-year-old’s business dealings with Burisma gave Republicans an opening to criticize President Biden, who led the Obama administration’s US-Ukraine relations, during his election campaign. Concerns about a conflict of interest were first raised in 2015.

“I know it’s hard to believe looking back at 2020 how I could have missed this,” Mr Biden told the BBC in an interview that aired Tuesday.

Mr Biden also admitted that his father’s reputation and name played a “big part” in offering him a role on the board.

Hunter Biden admits Ukrainian board stance created negative ‘perception’

President Barack Obama (left), Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter Biden attend NCAA basketball game – JONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

“I think they saw my name as gold,” he said. “By then the Russians had invaded and taken Crimea and they were looking for natural resources and the pipeline.”

Burisma wanted to capitalize on the reputation of the Biden family as they sought a “bulwark against this Russian aggression,” he explained.

“The name Biden is synonymous with democracy and transparency and that’s why I said it was gold for them.

Mr Biden’s role as director between 2014 and 2019 came when his father accused the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, of corruption and called for his impeachment.

The allegations of deception against the Bidens formed the basis of Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2019.

The former president has been accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open an investigation into them and Burisma.

Hunter Biden admits Ukrainian board stance created negative ‘perception’

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, NC – Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Joe Biden has long denied discussing his son’s trade relationship with Burisma while handling Ukrainian politics as Barack Obama’s vice president.

Republican lawmakers found in 2020 that while there was no evidence that U.S. foreign policy had been influenced, Mr. Biden’s involvement in the cabinet was “problematic.”

Mr Biden, who has been promoting his new memoir Beautiful Things, told the BBC his memoir was written with the aim of exploring “the love of a family and how it saved me”.

In another earlier interview, he also touched on his addiction to crack and alcohol.

He described rummaging through his carpet for drug remnants deep within his addiction to CBS Sunday Morning.

“I spent more time on my hands and knees plucking rugs smoking anything that even remotely looked like crack,” he said.

“I have probably smoked more Parmesan cheese than anyone you know.”

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