WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday she was “unfamiliar” with a widely reported claim that a company associated with first son Hunter Biden had received $ 3.5 million. dollars from the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, after being questioned by the Post the payment was for.
âI don’t know this statement. It does not appear to be supported by much evidence. If you have any evidence or details, I’m happy to discuss it further, âPsaki said during his daily press briefing in response to a question from the Post.
Psaki said, referring to a report from the Senate Finance and Homeland Security Committees which stated: âI am not familiar with the report at all.
The so-called 2014 payment was frequently cited during last year’s presidential campaign. Then-President Donald Trump raised it often at public events, including election rallies and the two presidential debates.
The claim was the subject of one of the most controversial moments of the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden, with an angry Biden denying that his son got the money and calling Trump a “clown.”
The Senate report, released in September, says the firm linked to Hunter Biden received $ 3.5 million from Elena Baturina, the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Senators said they did not know the purpose of the payment.
During the presidential debate on September 29 in Cleveland, Trump peppered Biden with questions about the payment.
âJust out of curiosity, the Moscow woman’s mayor gave your son $ 3.5 millionâ¦ What did he do to deserve it?â Trump said, also noting that Hunter Biden brought in $ 83,000 a month on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, while the elder Biden controlled the Ukrainian policy of the Obama administration.
Biden replied, “None of this is true.”
“Oh really, didn’t he get $ 3.5 million?” Trump said.
âIt’s totally discredited – totally discredited,â Biden insisted.
“Well, wait, he didn’t get $ 3.5 million, Joe?” He got $ 3.5 million, âTrump said.
“It’s not true,” Biden insisted.
During the second and final presidential debate in Nashville, TN on October 22, Trump launched an attack on Biden over the report.
âJoe got $ 3.5 million from Russia. And it came through Putin, because he was very friends with the former mayor of Moscow and he was the mayor of the woman of Moscow. He got $ 3.5 million. Your family got $ 3.5 million and you know someday you’re gonna have to explain – why you got three and a half [million]? Trump said.
After Psaki’s briefing on Wednesday, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) tweeted, â@PressSec heard you don’t know my report and @chuckgrassley. Here is a link. “
Hunter Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners in 2009. Senate report claimed that Hunter Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca Thorton – the entity that secured the alleged $ 3.5 million – in 2013. The Senate report said Rosemont Seneca Thorton is a consortium of Rosemont Seneca Partners and the Thornton Group .
âThe Thornton Group website has stated that it has offices in Boston and Beijing, lists Rosemont Seneca Partners among its list of alliances and clients, and includes photographs from several events that Hunter Biden has attended,â a declared the Senate report.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, denied last year that he benefited from the $ 3.5 million payment to Rosemont Seneca Thornton. âHunter Biden had no interest and was not a co-founder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, so the claim he was paid $ 3.5 million is false,â Mesires said in a statement.
After the Senate report, a Delaware computer repairer provided the Post with documents from a laptop formerly owned by Hunter Biden that detailed his father’s apparent connection to trade deals in China and Ukraine.
The repairman contacted the Senate Homeland Security Committee and provided them with some of the documents the day after the report was released into Joe Biden’s apparent conflicts of interest in his son’s business dealings, as well as the alleged transfer of $ 3.5 million.
Last month, the first son still owned 10% of an investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities. The fund was formed 12 days after Hunter Biden joined his father aboard Air Force Two for a trip in December 2013 to Beijing.