President Trump on Thursday said his Democratic opponent Joe Biden “should leave the campaign” in the wake of the release of a Senate GOP report detailing Hunter Biden’s extensive overseas business dealings, claiming the former vice president “knew everything.”
The president made the comments Thursday during an exclusive interview on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio.
“I look at Hunter Biden today, where he stole millions of dollars, stole millions,” Trump claimed. “His father should leave the campaign because his father was in on it.”
He added: “His father knew everything.”
The president was referring to an interim report released by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees on their months-long joint investigation into the younger Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, as well as his alleged “extensive and complex financial transactions.” According to the report, an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden, Rosemont Seneca Thornton, “received $3.5 million in a wire transfer” from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of the Russian capital.
Democrats have denied the report's claims: Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates on Wednesday blasted the GOP-led investigation for pursuing a “conspiracy theory.” And Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, told the Washington Post the GOP report "falsely alleges that Hunter Biden had a financial relationship with Russian businesswoman Yelena Baturina and that he received $3.5 million from Baturina."
The committees on Wednesday released an 87-page interim report on their investigation into the younger Biden’s business dealings, whose background played a starring role in the Trump impeachment efforts earlier this year.
He and his father have denied any wrongdoing related to his work.
The report, though, stated that Obama administration officials “knew” that Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma was “problematic: and that it interfered “in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.”
Hunter Biden joined Burisma in April 2014 and, at the time, reportedly connected the firm with consulting firm Blue Star Strategies to help the natural gas company fight corruption charges in Ukraine. During the time Biden was on the board the company’s board, then-Vice President Joe Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine relations and policy for the Obama administration.
The report stated that State Department official George Kent, who testified during Trump’s impeachment hearings last year, and Amos Hochstein, the former U.S. special envoy and coordinator for International Energy Affairs, raised concerns with Biden and his staff in the vice president’s office.
Trump, on Thursday, went on to note that the committees found that “the mayor’s wife of Moscow gave him $3.5 million cash to Hunter Biden.”
“OK? And that’s a very powerful position, and he’s a very powerful guy, gave Hunter $3.5 million, his wife,” Trump said.
The report goes further and alleges that not just Hunter Biden but other members of the Biden family “were involved in a vast financial network that connected them to foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe.”
Meanwhile, Trump praised Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, saying he has “guts.”
“Ron Johnson had guts. Other people don’t have guts,” Trump said, noting that Democrats “scare” and “go after” him “like crazy.”
“They go after my kids, they go after my family. They failed in Washington, they send it to New York,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace.”
The president went on to add that “the Republican Party is just sort of developing a little courage.”
“But here’s a guy who stole millions. His father was in on it,” Trump said. “Consider Ron Johnson -- consider this, consider what Ron Johnson has done is incredible because he had courage, and he found all the stuff that people were hearing about.”
The president slammed Biden as “corrupt,” and again claimed that “he knew his son was getting all this money from China, from Ukraine and other places.”
"Now Russia’s involved. They say I have a relationship with Russia, which I don’t and didn’t. I didn’t have a relationship,” Trump said. “He got $3.5 million from Russia.”
Trump, who has been investigated for much of his presidency over his ties to Russia—from investigations in the House of Representatives, to the Senate, to the FBI, to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller -- doubled down, saying he is “actually the toughest there has ever been on Russia.”
“I guarantee you Putin would say that. I guarantee you that Putin would say that behind the scenes he tells his people with the sanctions and all the things that I’ve done and the pipeline to Germany,” Trump said.
The report also claims that Senate investigators found millions of dollars in “questionable financial transactions” between Hunter Biden and his associates and foreign individuals, including individuals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
In one instance, the report stated that Hunter Biden “opened a bank account” with a Chinese national linked to China’s communist government, which “financed a $100,000 global spending spree” for the former vice president’s brother, James Biden, and his wife, Sara Biden.
The Biden campaign's Bates on Wednesday hit back at Johnson and his committee directly over the report.
"As the coronavirus death toll climbs and Wisconsinites struggle with joblessness, Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic, a threat Sen. Johnson has dismissed by saying that 'death is an unavoidable part of life.’ Why? To subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars -- an attack founded on a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory that hinges on Sen. Johnson himself being corrupt and that the Senator has now explicitly stated he is attempting to exploit to bail out Donald Trump's re-election campaign,” Bates said in a statement Wednesday.