Comedian and TV host Trevor Noah ripped into Joe Biden over his dodgy answer about his son’s dealings with Ukraine during Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate.
During the crowded debate last night, which brought together a dozen candidates, Biden was asked why it was not okay for a president’s family to be working with foreign businesses, if it was okay for a vice president’s family to do business with Ukraine.
He replied (watch here from 1:30 onwards): “Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. And that’s what we should be focusing on. And what I wanted to make a point about — my son’s statement speaks for itself. He spoke about it today. My son’s statement speaks for itself.”
“What I think is important is we focus on why it’s so important to remove this man from office. On the seventeenth — look, the fact that George Washington worried on the first time he spoke after being elected president, that what we had to worry about is foreign interference in our elections. It was the greatest threat to America.”
“I think I get where he was going, but it took a while for him to get there,” Noah said of Biden's defence. “One minute he’s talking about his son, then George Washington, then something about the seventeenth? Joe Biden is the only candidate who remixes his speech while he’s giving it,” Noah added, imitating a DJ's record scratch effect.
Joe Biden’s son Hunter had worked for a Ukrainian gas company for five years, despite limited expertise in this field. The firm was the target of a since-dropped corruption investigation, in which he didn’t face any charges.
In 2016, Joe Biden as vice president successfully pushed for the ouster of then-Ukraine’s prosecutor general, who had been overseeing the probe, ostensibly for his failure to pursue other corruption investigations, but Donald Trump asked Ukraine’s new president, Zelensky, in July to look into the allegations that Joe Biden had unlawfully stopped the prosecution to protect his son. Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Zelensky to investigate Biden, his potential 2020 rival, are now at the centre of an impeachment inquiry.
Hours before the debate, Hunter admitted in an ABC interview to using “poor judgment” in deciding to work for the Ukrainian company as a paid board member because it has led to political repercussions for his father, but denied doing “anything improper”.
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hunter Biden tells @arobach he did nothing "improper” while serving on board of Ukrainian gas company, but may have showed “poor judgment” in joining. https://t.co/rmDKGz1o7O pic.twitter.com/QxmCJGU5Ze— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 15, 2019
Several Democratic-controlled House committees are now leading the impeachment inquiry to find out whether the US president has abused his power to boost the electoral prospects. The White House has refused to cooperate, prompting the Democrats to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify.