The Hunter Biden saga has turned from a suspected Russian disinformation tactic to a political crisis in the space of three years.
When details of his now infamous laptop first appeared in 2020, many wrote it off given Donald Trump’s insistence of wrongdoing just weeks before the presidential election.
However, even his harshest critics have changed their view on the Hunter fiasco, including CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Three years ago, Tapper gave Joe Biden the benefit of the doubt at the time when the latter denied Trump’s allegations that Hunter had made “a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places.”
Following the debate, Tapper said he didn’t know whether then-candidate Biden was “lying,” – a view which he has since changed.
“None of that is true,” was Joe Biden’s initial response to the allegations. As investigations by the Department of Justice and House Oversight Committee have progressed, however, further evidence has come to light seemingly confirming former president Trump’s claims.
On CNN’s “The Lead” on Thursday, Tapper changed his stance on the issue. “Glenn Kessler from the Washington Post had a fact check about Joe Biden from earlier this month noting that Hunter Biden admitted in court in July that he was in fact paid substantial sums from Chinese companies,” he stated on Thursday.
“Kessler wrote, ‘Hunter Biden reported nearly 2.4 million in income in 2017 and 2.2 million in income in 2018,’ most of which came from Chinese or Ukrainian interests.” Tapper then took aim at Biden’s 2020 claims, stating the report “directly goes against what Joe Biden said in the debate in 2020 with Donald Trump.”
The broadcast then played footage from the two debates where Biden denied Trump’s allegations, with Tapper adding, “So this is from two different debates but, I mean, Trump was right. I mean, he did make a fortune from China and Joe Biden was wrong.”
“I don’t know that he was lying about it. He might not have been told by Hunter, but this blind spot is a problem,” he continued.
Despite publicly stating that the Hunter fiasco is a separate legal issue unrelated to his campaign, Biden has reportedly been “very obsessed” with media coverage of his son’s ongoing problems. Former Democratic Rep. Andy Levin played down the issue on Thursday’s broadcast, stating his belief that “it’s not something the voters care a lot about.”
Whether voters care or not is certainly conflicting with a separate report from CNN regarding the President’s “obsession” with the coverage.
Earlier that day, John Avlon stated that he’d “heard reports that he’s very obsessed with the negative coverage of Hunter.”
“He’s concerned about it, it’s an irritant. And that’s understandable. But not one that allies around him want to raise because it will derail a conversation,” Avlon concluded.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
From the Vault