Biden says his family will avoid business conflicts while he is in White House

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Gino Spocchia
·2 min read
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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden has said his family will not be involved in any businesses that could conflict with his presidency, after controversy over his son’s activities in Ukraine.

The president-elect told CNN host Jake Tapper on Thursday that his son, Hunter Biden, and other family members would avoid activities that could be in conflict with the White House, when he becomes president next month.

“My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise, that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict, with the appropriate distance from, the presidency and government,” Mr Biden said.

The US president and Republicans had scrutinised the younger Biden over his position on a Ukrainian energy company board, Burisma, when Mr Biden was vice-president.

They alleged that Mr Biden, as vice-president, acted to assist his son with pressure on Ukraine to remove a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma at the time.

But the president’s allegations eventually led to the impeachment process against him, with Mr Trump having pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

While Senate reports said the younger Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was “problematic” while Mr Biden was vice-president to Barack Obama, there was no evidence the pair had broken protocol.

Hunter Biden has said he regretted his work in Ukraine had allowed Republicans to attack Mr Biden, and reiterated that allegations were without basis.

Mr Trump’s own connections to his businesses, handed to sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr, have meanwhile been put under the spotlight.

A Washington-based ethics watchdog, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said in September that the US president had some 3,400 cases of possible conflicts of interest while at the White House.

It includes visits to private properties and payments to Trump-owned businesses by the US government, among other activities.

Mr Biden’s interview with CNN on Thursday was his first joint interview with Kamala Harris, his vice president-elect, since they defeated Mr Trump in the presidential election last month.

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