OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
President Joe Biden was confronted on Tuesday evening by a CNN host over potential charges being filed against his son, Hunter Biden, for alleged violations of federal tax and gun laws in a rare confrontation by a network that critics say has been overly deferential to him in the past.
Jake Tapper, who launched his anchoring of “CNN Tonight” with an interview of Biden, waded into the subject of the president’s legal troubles: “Our reporting, CNN’s reporting, and The Washington Post reporting suggests that prosecutors think they could — they have enough, to charge your son, Hunter, for tax crimes, and a false statement about a gun purchase. Personally and politically, how do you react to that?”
“Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son. This is a kid, who got — not a kid, he’s a grown man. And he got hooked on, like many families have had happened, hooked on drugs,” the president began. “He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life. He is, I’m confident that he is — what he says, and does, are consistent with what happens. And, for example, he wrote a book about his problems and was straightforward about it. I’m proud of him.”
“He came along and said — by the way, this thing about a gun? I didn’t know anything about it. But turns out that when he made application, to purchase a gun, what happened was he said — I guess, you get asked — I don’t guess. You get asked the question, ‘Are you on drugs? You use drugs?’ He said, ‘No.’ And he wrote about saying ‘No,’ in his book,” Biden added. Tapper responded that, indeed, Hunter Biden did disclose that information in his book, “Beautiful Things.
“So, I have great confidence in my son. I love him. And he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been, for a couple years now,” the president concluded. “And I’m just so proud of him.”
President Biden on Tuesday for the first time addressed his son’s exposure to possible criminal charges for allegedly lying on a gun-purchase application, but he said he was proud of Hunter Biden for confronting his struggles with drug addiction https://t.co/NscXr1yMlf pic.twitter.com/nnkefrnIVg
— CNN (@CNN) October 12, 2022
Two GOP senators who have been investigating alleged Biden family corruption for years have recently stepped up their efforts. Following revelations by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan that the platform partially censored explosive revelations about Hunter Biden gleaned from an abandoned laptop ahead of the 2020 election. Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin want more answers.
Rogan and Zuckerberg were talking about how and why Facebook suppressed the Hunter Biden story and the Facebook CEO said that the FBI warned him, not in relation particularly to the laptop story but in general, that foreign actors would be attempting to influence the decision and to be wary of such possible stories.
“Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us- some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert… We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,’” the Facebook CEO said.
“We just kind of thought, hey look, if the FBI, which I still view is a legitimate institution in this country, it’s a very professional law enforcement- they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something then I want to take that seriously,” he said.
Zuckerberg explained that the FBI did not expressly tell Facebook to censor or limit distribution of the Hunter Bidens story, but the company thought it “fit the pattern” of potential propaganda to limit its distribution for 5 – 7 days but it was still allowed to be shared.
Now, Grassley and Johnson have sent a letter to Zuckerberg noting that in October 2020, “when the New York Post published articles based on evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop, many news and social media organizations inappropriately rushed to censor and discredit the initial reporting and falsely labeled it as ‘disinformation.’”
“You recently appeared to indicate that the reason why Facebook made the unwise decision to censor articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop was based on an alert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the senators wrote, in reference to the Rogan interview, The Epoch Times reported.
“Whistleblowers have also alleged to Senator Johnson that local FBI leadership instructed its employees not to look at the Hunter Biden laptop immediately after the FBI had obtained it,” the senators noted further, going on to say that Americans “deserve to know whether the FBI used Facebook as part of their alleged plan to discredit information about Hunter Biden.”