Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has finally broken his silence about the explosive New York Post report that alleges his son Hunter Biden introduced him to a Ukrainian businessman when he was serving as the Vice President.
Although Biden was not asked about the scandal surrounding Hunter at the ABC News town hall discussion by moderator George Stephanopoulos, Biden met with reporters outside his private jet on Friday following campaign events in Michigan and was asked about the controversy by CBS News Reporter Bo Erickson.
'It's Another Smear Campaign'
"What is your response to the New York Post story about your son, sir?" Erickson asked.
"I know you'd ask it," Biden snapped back. "I have no response, it's another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask."
CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid defended her colleague and tweeted that while their coverage "clearly lays out warnings about Giuliani & Russian disinformation, we cannot normalize insulting reporters for asking questions"
The Biden campaign previously responded to the NY Post report on Wednesday, denying any wrongdoing and saying no such meeting took place between Biden and the Ukrainian businessman. Biden has previously said that he has "never spoken to [his] son about his overseas business dealings."
The Hunter Biden Email Controversy
The NY Post story published alleged emails exchanged between Hunter and a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm about a meeting with his father.
The report stated that in one email that dates back to May 2014, about a month after Hunter joined the board of the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings, Vadym Pozharskyi the third-ranking executive at Burisma, emailed him asking for "advice on how you could use your influence to convey a message" or a "signal."
In another email on April 17, 2015, the Post said Pozharskyi thanked Hunter for inviting him to DC and introducing him to his father. Trump and his aides immediately seized the opportunity and promoted the article as evidence that the Bidens were in bed with the Ukrainian government and that Hunter took advantage of his position on Burisma's board to link up his father with top Ukrainian officials.
The emails were apparently retrieved from the laptop of Hunter Biden after it was left at a repair shop in Delaware in April 2019. According to the New York Post's article, the store owner said a customer who brought in a laptop for repair never paid for the service, and the computer remained in the store with a hard drive with all the information on it.
The store owner repeatedly tried to contact the client, but no one returned his phone calls or came by to take it back. He also noted that the laptop had a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, a nonprofit organization honoring Joe Biden's son Beau Biden, a former Delaware attorney general who died of brain cancer in 2015.
The owner of the store made a copy of the hard drive consisting of over 40,000 emails and handed it to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's lawyer before the laptop and hard drive were confiscated by the FBI in December. Allegedly Giuliani's lawyer Roberto Costello provided the New York Post with a copy on Sunday.
Twitter and Facebook Clampdown
After the report's headline hit social media, Twitter and Facebook blocked users from sharing or linking to the controversial article.
Users attempting to share the article received a warning message that their request could not be completed "because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful." Twitter users who tried to click on a link to the article also received a warning
Twitter claimed in a statement that it had taken action against the article in keeping with the company's "Hacked Materials Policy" and prevented users from sharing the report