Gary Shapley, an IRS whistleblower, informed Congress members about Hunter Biden’s alleged threat towards his Chinese business associate, Henry Zhao. Shapley claimed that Hunter mentioned his father, Joe Biden, being present and warned Zhao that he would regret not following his instructions.
During an interaction with John Kirby, a member of the White House National Security Council, James Rosen from Newsmax raised the issue, reading the purported message aloud. Rosen questioned whether this revelation contradicts Biden’s previous assertions of having no knowledge about Hunter’s business activities. However, Kirby chose not to respond and left the podium without providing an answer.
“Can I follow up on that? So Kirby wouldn’t answer James’ question though, are you gonna answer the question? It’s not an unreasonable question to ask when the president of the United States was involved, as this message seems to suggest, in some sort of coercive conversation for business dealings by his son, is that something, if he wasn’t maybe you should tell us,” The New York Times’ Peter Baker pressed.
“I appreciate the question, I believe my colleague at the White House counsel has answered this question,” Jean-Pierre said, referring reporters back to the Department of Justice and Kirby. Reporters immediately began hounding Jean-Pierre with questions about the messages, demanding she answer them. Jean-Pierre said she answered the question, which prompted the New York Post’s Steven Nelson to demand she answer.
“No, you didn’t [answer]: Yes or no, was the president involved in the shakedown attempt?” Nelson asked.
When questioned, Jean-Pierre responded to Steven, asserting that she had already answered the question and that it was not for him to dictate how she should respond. She mentioned that her colleagues at the White House counsel had addressed the query.
James Rosen proceeded to ask Jean-Pierre if she stands by her affirmation of Biden’s previous claims that he had no knowledge of foreign business dealings. In response, Jean-Pierre simply stated, “Nothing has changed.”
Before Jean-Pierre could be interrupted, Nelson attempted to ask a question. However, Jean-Pierre quickly redirected her attention, indicating that she would address Nelson’s colleague instead. Finally, Weijia Jiang from CBS News posed the same question.
“To follow up on what my colleague saying in regard to this text message and what the president’s son was alleging: Was the president there or not?”
“I would refer to my colleagues at the White House counsel,” Jean-Pierre said.
“Karine, have you spoken to the president about this? Have you asked him whether he was there with his son on July 30th–” NBC News’ Monica Alba began.
“This is not a conversation I’ve had with the president and again, I’d refer you to the White House counsel.”
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“Do you plan to have that conversation with the president?” Alba followed up.