Democratic candidate Joe Biden defended his son Hunter Biden in the last general election debate of the presidential race, giving a rough rendering of what he maintained for over a year: that “nothing was contrary to ethics ”in his conduct abroad.
The moment came about an hour after the NBC event in Nashville, Tennessee, as President Donald Trump sought to insinuate that the former vice president was an unscrupulous Russian money leech, before turning to his son .
“They were paying you a lot of money,” Trump told Biden, referring to Russia. “And they probably still are. But now, with what came out today, it’s even worse. All emails. Emails, horrible emails [and] the kind of money that you and your family collected. And Joe, you were vice president when that was happening, ”he said.
Biden hardly looked surprised.
“I have never taken a dime from any foreign source in my life,” Biden said, before turning to the president’s still unreported tax returns and then returning to protect his son.
“Nothing was unethical,” Biden said. “Here’s the deal. As far as Ukraine is concerned, we asked ourselves the whole question of whether, because he was a member of the board … of Burisma, a company, I had done something wrong. Yet every lonely person when he faced his arraignment, testifying under oath who worked for him, said that I had done my job impeccably. I implemented American policy. Not a single lonely thing was out of place.
“The guy who got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy who was trying to bribe the Ukrainian government to say something bad about me, which he wouldn’t and didn’t do because it didn’t. never happened, never, “Biden continued on stage. “My son didn’t make any money on that thing about – what are you talking about, China?” “The only guy who made money with China is this guy. He is the only one. No one else has made money with China. “
After the mentally dizzying kickoff against his Republican rival at the end of September, Biden’s campaign officials prepared their manager for the likelihood that Trump could use many different tactics to turn his back on the hundreds of thousands of positive cases one last time. of COVID-19. And, as The Daily Beast reported earlier Thursday, the Democratic nominee’s campaign confirmed this in a call that involved his family.
Hours before the televised finale began, senior officials briefed reporters on Biden’s strategy of sidestepping Trump’s alleged irrelevant remarks by telling viewers at home about the coronavirus, which the president tried to avoid . Trump “is actively fleeing his own record,” said Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
While Trump for days seemed eager to go in a number of directions on Hunter Biden – despite mixed advice from some of his entourage – Biden’s campaign officials spent only a few moments discussing the weakness and how corrosive they thought the attack was, and how they think it won’t change the ride in less than two weeks. Bedingfield called Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and one of the main turners of the former vice president’s son, “perhaps one of the most discredited humans.”
Hours later, the Trump campaign had its own telephone conversation with reporters. It struck a different note. “It’s a call to talk about Biden’s emails,” an online reporter tweeted, attributing the quote to Ric Grenell, a Trump ally who was once acting director of national intelligence. Grenell, journalists said, heckled them over whether or not they had sufficiently reported on Hunter Biden. Trump campaign officials too Drop it that they had invited a man named Tony Bobulinski, who was a work associate of Biden’s son, as a guest.
Democrats have generally stayed out of the Republican-led Hunter Biden affair since the primary. Early in the campaign cycle, Biden’s opponents avoided blaming him, or rushing to preliminary conclusions, over various allegations of his son’s misconduct with foreign entities. Party members have warned the Trump campaign will likely play dirty. This strategy has spread to the General, where new unproven claims published in the The New York Post and peddled by Giuliani suggested that Hunter Biden had engaged in other inappropriate deals, which the former New York mayor said were documented on his computer. The script resurrected the Trump team. Before the debate started, the president appeared confused during a pre-recorded 60 minutes segment aired on Sunday when interviewer Lesley Stahl reminded him the claims had not been proven.
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