Images from Hunter Biden’s laptop call into question Joe Biden’s denial of talking business with son
Biden insisted during the 2020 campaign that he did not discuss international business with his son
Images obtained by Fox News on Thursday cast new doubts on President Biden’s adamant claims during the 2020 presidential campaign that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son Hunter.
One of the pictures appears to show Biden next to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim with Hunter off to the side. Two other executives are in the frame along with Hunter's associates.
The DailyMail.com first reported on the photos showing Hunter and his associates, who were reportedly working at the time on energy deals in Latin America and Mexico.
The photos obtained by Fox News were from Hunter's laptop and provided by Robert Costello, an attorney for Rudy Giuliani. A time stamp indicates that the pictures were taken on Nov. 19, 2015.
The time stamp also coincides with a scheduled 8:30 a.m. "Breakfast with Dad – NAVOBS," according to an email from the hard drive, an apparent reference to the U.S. Naval Observatory, which is the vice president's residence.
An email sent the following day by Eric Schwerin of Hunter Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca, shows a Politico Playbook headline corroborating Slim being in the D.C. area with an article headlined, "SPOTTED: Carlos Slim in the lobby yesterday morning of the Georgetown Four Seasons."
A representative for Slim did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.
Several of the high-powered foreign executives were already familiar to the president, having been involved politics that intersected with American interests. It is unclear if Hunter Biden was trying to capitalize on the existing relationships or making new introductions.
The photos are the type you'd expect to see adorning the walls inside any influential politician’s home: the elected official flanked by one of his sons and a few billionaires inside a smartly decorated room. But the picture becomes a political albatross when the politician in the photo insisted throughout his presidential campaign that he never discussed any overseas business dealings with the son who is also in the photo.
One of the pictures in question appears to show Biden with his son Hunter alongside Slim; Interjet’s CEO Miguel Aleman Magnani; the company's chairman Miguel Aleman Velasco; and Hunter’s associate Jeff Cooper, a longtime former managing partner of the law firm SimmonsCooper -- a big Biden donor.
The New York Post reported that Cooper joined the vice president’s "entourage on Air Force Two to Mexico in 2016, when he and Hunter were trying to negotiate an ill-fated petroleum deal with Aleman Magnani."
The White House told Fox News that the president maintains his earlier position that overseas business was never discussed. A lawyer for Hunter did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
Critics have expressed dismay that the mainstream media continues to approach the issue with willful ignorance. The Bidens never confirmed or denied the existence of the laptop. Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, wrote in The Washington Post last October that "the absence of a denial by the Biden campaign or Hunter himself should not be treated as a tacit admission of authenticity."
Miranda Devine, the columnist for the New York Post, wrote this week that there will eventually be a "point the Biden White House will have to confront evidence of the president’s involvement in his son Hunter’s shady overseas business dealings."
Former President Trump attempted to draw attention to the issue during the campaign, but it never gained traction in the mainstream media and was written off as a fringe theory. Trump referred to Hunter's laptop as the "laptop from hell" and essentially accused Hunter of developing a business model based on the monetization of access to his dad.
Trump was particularly interested in learning how Hunter managed to join the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2014, around the time his father was helping conduct the Obama administration’s foreign policy with the country.
"And you didn’t have a job before your father was vice president," Trump told "Fox & Friends" at the time. "You can’t go and go with your father and every stop you make, you pick up $1 billion."
Senate Republicans said in a 2020 report that Hunter's appointment may have posed a conflict of interest, but they did not present evidence that the hiring influenced U.S. policies.
In April, Hunter sat down for an interview with CBS News and appeared evasive when asked about the laptop. He said he had no idea if the computer was his but said there was a possibility.
"There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me," Hunter said. "It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the.. that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me. Or that there was a laptop stolen from me."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.