President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday laughed off a question about the federal investigation of his son Hunter, in what’s become part of a pattern for him to mock or belittle reporters who broach the topic.
As Biden ended his press conference Tuesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy shouted a question on whether he still believed the stories by the New York Post and other outlets about his son’s business affairs were a “Russian disinformation campaign and a smear campaign.”
Biden chuckled, then said, “Yes! Yes! Yes! God love you, man. You’re a one horse-pony,” meaning to say “one-trick pony” for the repeated questions on the subject.
Biden, who has not named his pick for attorney general, added he would allow his Justice Department to be “totally on its own” about any judgments on the matter.
After a speech last week, he was asked by Doocy when he learned about the investigation into his son. Biden sarcastically replied, “Thanks for the congratulations, I appreciate it.”
Biden had sharp words for Doocy during his primary campaign, at one point sarcastically calling him “classy” for asking about the birth of Hunter’s illegitimate son in Arkansas. He also told Doocy he could handle coverage about his small crowd sizes compared to his primary rivals, calling himself a “big boy.”
Media outlets largely parroted unverified claims in October that the New York Post’s reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop was based on “Russian disinformation.” But CBS reporter Bo Erickson did ask Biden about it at the time and received a curt response.
“I knew you’d ask it. I have no response,” Biden said. “It’s another smear campaign. Right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.”
I asked Joe Biden: What is your response to the NYPost story about your son, sir?
He called it a “smear campaign” and then went after me. “I know you’d ask it. I have no response, it’s another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.” pic.twitter.com/Eo6VD4TqxD
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) October 17, 2020
The FBI and Justice Department officials agreed with acting-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe that the laptop containing emails about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, including in Ukraine and China, was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Hunter Biden is under investigation by Delaware’s U.S. Attorney over his “tax affairs,” which include his business dealings in China and Ukraine, and it is unclear if the laptop is related to the probe. The case has prompted questions about the younger Biden profiting from his father’s name and foreign policy influence and possible conflicts of interest for the incoming president’s foreign policy.
However, while the business dealings of President Trump’s family have drawn extensive coverage, the media has shown comparatively little interest in the Biden story. Joe Biden’s only sit-down interview since the formal investigation came to light was with left-wing CBS comedian Stephen Colbert, who sympathetically framed the issue as a Republican political attack.
“I know you want to be as bipartisan and reach across the aisle, but as much as you don’t want it to happen, you know that the people who want to make hay in Washington are going to try to use your adult son as a cudgel against you,” Colbert asked. “How do you feel about that and what do you have to say to those people?”
Biden said he was unconcerned about his son, adding he had “great confidence” in him and he believed the investigation could be “foul play.” Colbert said, as a fellow father, he admired Biden’s response and did not offer any follow-up questions.
Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Wednesday the media was allowing Biden to easily dismiss the story.
“It seems like most of the mainstream media remarkably is really not much interested in a story about massive potential for conflict of interest between the president-elect’s activities and his son’s activities,” he said on “America’s Newsroom.”
“This in normal times would be massive, frontpage feeding frenzy news, but Joe Biden knows the media no longer operates that way. He can get away with it.”
Mostly, the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden was ignored during the campaign, which critics called an attempt to alter the election.
The Hunter Biden case has prompted Republican calls for a special counsel if the elder Biden fires the Delaware U.S. Attorney upon taking office. Departing Attorney General William Barr said Monday he had no plan to appoint one, but his replacement could do so before Trump leaves office.