Hunter Biden Absence From Holiday Photo Stirs Social Media Storm

Viren Vaghela

(Bloomberg) -- A Christmas photograph posted by Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden from which son Hunter was absent attracted considerable attention on social media over the holidays.

The photo, signed “from my family to yours,” featured Biden and wife Jill, their daughter Ashley, and five grandchildren, including Hunter Biden’s three daughters. Hundreds of Twitter responses -- many from right-wing or pro-President Donald Trump accounts -- asked why Hunter wasn’t present.

Hunter Biden has been a central player in the year’s Washington drama after holding a highly paid position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings from 2014 until this year.

The younger Biden joined the Burisma board while Biden was vice president, and the elder Biden also worked on behalf of the U.S. and allied governments to get a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor fired. There’s no credible claim of wrongdoing by either Biden.

Trump has made discredited accusations about Hunter Biden’s business dealings that factored into the president’s impeachment by the House earlier this month. 

In their impeachment inquiry, House Democrats accused Trump of trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens in order to gain a competitive edge in the 2020 presidential election. Biden is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in national polls.

Biden is spending this weekend campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. His campaign had no comment about Hunter Biden’s absence from the photo or the social-media response.

The Twitter roasting had parallels across the pond, after Queen Elizabeth II gave her annual Christmas Day speech surrounded by photographs of her family. Not included in the tableau was a photo of Prince Harry, wife Meghan Markle and baby Archie. Second son Prince Andrew, embroiled in scandal over his friendship with pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, was also nowhere in sight.

(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Viren Vaghela in London at vvaghela1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at achoudhury@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Matthew G. Miller

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