Hunter Biden says joining board of Ukraine company wasn’t mistake

Ben Bain
Bloomberg News

Hunter Biden, the U.S. president’s son, says that he didn’t make a mistake by joining the board of one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine when his father was serving as Barack Obama’s vice president.

In wide-ranging interview with CBS News’ “Sunday Morning,” the younger Biden said that he did nothing wrong in taking the lucrative position with Cyprus-registered Burisma Holdings. His only error was “underestimating” how it would be used against him, he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden, 51, has previously said taking the role may have been “poor judgment” as his involvement in Burisma became a lightning rod during the 2020 presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims of corruption and conflict of interest around Biden’s role, and Senate Republicans, then in the majority, held hearings on the matter that resulted in an 87-page report.

Even after Joe Biden’s election, questions around the matter continue to linger for the president and his son, who spoke with CBS ahead of the scheduled April 6 release of his memoir, “Beautiful Things.”

The younger Biden said no investigation has concluded that he did “anything wrong, or that my father did anything wrong.”

He said in December that he’s facing a federal investigation related to his foreign business dealings. The president has said he won’t interfere in the Justice Department’s prosecutorial decisions.

Responding to a question about a related controversy, Biden said that a laptop reported to have been left in a Delaware repair shop in 2019 could have been his, although he wasn’t sure. The New York Post reported in October 2020 that emails on that computer detailed dodgy dealings in the Ukraine, CBS recounted in the interview – a fresh bombshell weeks before the presidential election.

“There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me,” he 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 younger Biden also detailed his relationship with his father, who he said never stopped supporting him even as he battled substance abuse for years. “You’re not fine,” Hunter recalls his father telling him at one point in what amounted to an attempted intervention.

Hunter told CBS correspondent Tracy Smith that he’s now sober and has turned a corner from the addiction that at one point involved staying awake for 13 straight days while he drank vodka and smoked crack cocaine.

“I spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs – smoking anything that re – even closely – even remotely resembled crack cocaine. I – I– I probably smoked more Parmesan cheese than…anyone that you know,” he said.