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Psaki Avoids Questions On Hunter Biden As Reporter Presses Her

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had her feet held to the fire by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson over Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Russia and she did not like it.

“I’ve got a quick clarification and two questions about presidential conflicts of interest in foreign affairs.

“The first brief clarification is: The New York Times reported this week that the First Son remains under criminal investigation.  Does the President still intend to stay out of that case?” the reporter said to begin his questioning.

Psaki was able to stealthily avoid directly answering the question by passing the buck.

“Yes.  It’s the Department of Justice, and I would point you to them,” she said.

Nelson then moved on to reports that alleged that Hunter’s firm received $3.5 million from the richest woman in Russia, Elena Baturina, in 2014.

“And my two questions about conflicts of interest in foreign affairs.  First, I have a question about Russia and then one about China,” he said.

“On Russia: You told me last year that you were unfamiliar with the Senate report that alleged that the First Son — or a company linked to the First Son received $3.5 million from the richest woman in Russia.

“Subsequent reporting indicates that President Biden, when he was Vice President, had a dinner in Georgetown with the same woman in 2015,” the reporter said.

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“This — Yelena Baturina, she has not been sanctioned yet by the U.S. government.  How is President Biden navigating conflicts of interest when it comes to sanctioning people who have done business with his family?  And can you explain to us what this $3.5 million was for?” he said.

“I don’t have any confirmation of the accuracy of that report, so I have no more further details,” the press secretary said.

But Nelson pressed and a flustered Psaki attempted to move on to another reporter.

Well, his son’s company allegedly got $3.5 million from —

PSAKI:  He — which I have no confirmation of.  And he has continued to sanction oligarchs more than we’ve ever sanctioned in the past.  I’m not sure that’s a conflict of interest, though.

Q    But she hasn’t been sanctioned, though.

PSAKI:  Go ahead.

Q    She hasn’t been sanctioned, though.  She has —

PSAKI:  Thank you.  Go ahead.

Q    I have a question about Russia now.  My –

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PSAKI:  I think we’re moving on because we got to get to more people.

Q    I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  We could — hold on.

PSAKI:  Go ahead.

Q    My question about the conflict of interests when it comes to China is: Last year, the First Son’s attorney said that he divested from a Chinese investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities.  We have received not even basic transparency about who bought out his stake, when this happened, and how much money changed hands.  Did he actually divest?  And if so, can you agree to basic transparency?

PSAKI:  He’s a private citizen.  He doesn’t work for the government.  I’d point you to his representatives. 

Thank you. 

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Q    But there’s a blaring conflict of interest for his father’s role as President, dealing with China.

PSAKI:  I think we’re done here.  Thank you very much.

The Daily Caller reported:

In 2020, a Senate report revealed that U.S. banks flagged suspicious financial transactions between Biden’s firms and Russian and Chinese nationals that Republicans said indicated possible “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns.” A court filing alleged that Biden, along with business partner Devon Archer, helped Baturina launder money through the U.S. financial system.

The report alleges that Baturina transferred $3.5 million to Biden and Archer’s company, Rosemont Seneca Thornton on Feb. 14, 2014. She sent an additional $241,797 to the company’s bank account from May-December 2015.

Biden’s firm also received payments from a Chinese businessman with reported ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and millions of dollars in wire payments from Ye Jianming, the founder of CEFC China Energy Co. and his U.S.-based associate, Gongwen Den.

In late October 2020, emails published by the New York Post from Biden’s laptop linked his father to overseas business dealings in China with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed via forensic analysis that a company executive thanked Biden for introducing him to his father.

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