Published December 20, 2015
The son of Vice President Joe Biden says he is “embarrassed” after being discharged from the Navy Reserve earlier this year --- reportedly after testing positive for cocaine.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Thursday that Hunter Biden’s short-lived military career ended because he failed a drug test after reporting to his unit in 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Navy discharged him in February of this year.
Biden said in a statement to Fox News that he respects the Navy’s decision but did not specify why he was discharged.
“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” he said. “I respect the Navy's decision. With the love and support of my family, I'm moving forward.”
Biden, 44, made the decision to join the military late in life. According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy Reserve in 2013 after deciding the previous year to join the service as a public affairs officer.
However, Biden was given a drug test after reporting to his unit at Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va. and tested positive for cocaine, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the paper, the Navy would not specify what sort of discharge he was given.
Vice President Biden spoke about his son’s decision to join the Navy late in life at the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball in 2013, joking that his son’s decision was a result of poor judgment.
“We have a lot of bad judgment in my family,” Biden said. “My son over 40 just joined the Navy to be sworn in.”
Hunter Biden is a lawyer who serves as a managing partner for a Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment firm. He made headlines earlier this year when he was hired to be a director and lawyer for a Ukraine company promoting energy independence from Moscow.
The move raised eyebrows, as Vice President Biden and others in the Obama administration have attempted to influence energy policies and other issues of the Ukrainian government as it battles Russia and pro-Russian separatists to control the county.
The vice president's spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff, has said that Biden's son is a private citizen and a lawyer, and that Joe Biden "does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company."
Fox News' Ed Henry contributed to this report.