Biden slams Trump ally Rudy Giuliani as ‘Russian pawn’ in 2nd debate

Giuliani handed over files to the New York Post that he says came from Hunter Biden's laptop

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden dismissed questions Thursday night over his son Hunter's business dealings in Russia and characterized President Trump's associate Rudy Giuliani, as a "Russian pawn" engaged in a disinformation smear campaign days before the election. 

Biden made the accusations at the second presidential debate in Nashville and insisted that "nothing was unethical" with any of his family's business dealings abroad. 

TRUMP, BIDEN CLASH OVER HUNTER BIDEN BUSINESS QUESTIONS AT FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Trump's "own national security adviser told him that what is happening with his buddy, Rudy Giuliani, he's being used as a Russian pawn, he's being fed information that is Russian, that is not true," Biden said. 

"And then what happens? Nothing happens," Biden said. "And then you find out that everything that's going on here about Russia is wanting to make sure that I do not get elected the next president of the United States because they know I know them and they know me."

BIDEN PRESSED ON HUNTER BIDEN BUSINESS QUESTIONS AT DEBATE, INSISTS 'NOTHING WAS UNETHICAL'

"What he's saying is a bunch of garbage," Biden said of Trump. 

Trump, in turn, mocked Biden saying: "You mean the laptop is now another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax? You've got to be kidding me."

The president has long claimed that accusations the Kremlin interfered with the 2016 election on his behalf were false, though intelligence officials refused to back down and an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller stopped short of exonerating Trump. Instead, it detailed contacts between the real estate mogul's campaign and people linked to the Kremlin.

Biden's fiery denials come days after Giuliani handed over files to the New York Post that he says came from Hunter Biden's laptop and included an email supposedly from a Burisma adviser, where Hunter Biden was a board member, thanking the younger Biden for arranging a meeting with then vice president Biden.

The Trump camp and opponents of Biden have pointed to the unauthenticated email as evidence to support a theory that Biden helped oust Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to prevent an investigation into Burisma. 

A similar narrative was at the heart of Trump's impeachment trial this year on charges of tying U.S. aid money for Ukraine to the announcement of an investigation into the Bidens. The FBI is investigating whether Russia is engaged in a disinformation campaign meant to derail Biden's run for the White House. 

The Post's reporting on the laptop does not present any conclusive evidence that a meeting between Biden and the Burisma advisor took place, and his campaign has vehemently denied any impropriety. 

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Republicans have pushed back vigorously on questions about Giuiliani's role, however, and insisted that the laptop contents "are real."