02:17 GMT22 June 2021
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    Joe Biden's second son has been in the media spotlight since last October, when the New York Post published an exposé on him alleging that the elder Biden was involved in his son's business dealings overseas during his tenure as vice president, which the newspaper said may constitute conflict of interest.

    Hunter Biden bragged about smoking crack with the late mayor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry, the Daily Mail reported citing an audio recording it obtained. According to the newspaper, the second son of US President Joe Biden made the statement in a telephone conversation with his friend on 5 January 2019.

    Hunter admonished his friend for being "racist" after the latter suggested that famous African American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. took cocaine. He then revealed that he smocked crack with Marion Barry when he was in high school.

    "You know what, I actually smoked crack with Marion Barry, I swear to f**ing god. That was in Georgetown. And he used to go to a place right next to [the local bar] The Guards. And I was a sophomore I guess, I was a junior when that happened. But he used to come there and drink like late, late. And I would be there, and he would go to the bathroom", Hunter Biden was recorded as saying.

    The purported claim seems to contradict Biden's own words. In his memoir "Beautiful Things" he wrote that he stopped smoking crack cocaine after he was arrested for drug possession at 18.

    Marion Barry, did have a drug problem. He was caught smoking crack cocaine on camera in 1990 and was arrested by the FBI. This, however, did not prevent him from winning election to the DC City Council in 1992 and becoming mayor again in 1994. He died in 2014.

    The Daily Mail wrote that the audio it obtained was part of several phone calls, which Hunter recorded on his laptop. The newspaper did not say whether the recording came from the laptop the New York Post used in its exposé on Hunter last October.

    The New York Post published a story alleging that Joe Biden was engaged in his son's business dealings overseas during his tenure as US vice president. The newspaper cited information it obtained from a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden that he ostensibly took to an IT store in 2019 to get repaired, but never returned to collect.

    In particular, the New York Post wrote that Hunter Biden had reportedly arranged a meeting between an adviser to the board of the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, and his father. Another trove of emails published by the newspaper suggested that Hunter Biden had sought lucrative deals for himself and his family.

    Joe Biden denied he or his son committed any wrongdoing, however, Hunter Biden recently said the laptop could have "absolutely" belonged to him, but said he never took it to an IT store and suggested the device was perhap stolen or hacked by Russian intelligence.

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