President Joe Biden on Tuesday publicly addressed for the first time the possible charges against his son Hunter Biden for alleged tax crimes and making a false statement on a gun purchase application.
“I’m proud of my son,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper when asked for his reaction to the potential charges. “He got hooked on ― like many families have had happen ― hooked on drugs. He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life.”
Hunter Biden has been under investigation since 2018. Federal prosecutors are confident they have enough evidence to bring criminal charges against him, The Washington Post reported last week.
The probe initially focused on Biden’s overseas business dealings but later expanded to look into whether he engaged in tax evasion and lied on a form to buy a gun in 2018. He reportedly answered “no” to a question asking if he used controlled substances but has since admitted in his book that he was struggling with addiction and using drugs that year.
Joe Biden told CNN he knew nothing about the gun purchase.
“He wrote a book about his problems and was straightforward about it. I’m proud of him,” he said. “This thing about a gun ― I didn’t know anything about it. But turns out that when he made an application to purchase a gun, what happened was he … you get asked a question, ‘are you on drugs?’ or ‘do use drugs?’ He said no. And he wrote about saying no in his book.”
“So I have great confidence in my son,” he added. “I love him and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now. And I’m just so proud of him.”
The White House has previously declined to comment on the investigation. Republicans and right-wing media have fixated on the issue and have signaled it could become the subject of a congressional probe next year should Republicans take control of Congress in the November midterms.
Biden declined to answer a question about when he’ll announce whether he’s running for reelection in 2024. He said his focus is on the upcoming midterm elections.
“After that’s done in November, then I’m going to be in the process of deciding,” he said.
“Is one of the calculations that you think you’re the only one who can beat Donald Trump?” Tapper asked.
“I believe I can beat Donald Trump again,” Biden answered.