In a Tuesday fact checker piece from the Washington Post, the outlet has finally fact-checked Biden’s previous claims that his son made no money from China, getting the highest "Four Pinocchios" rating.
The fact check came in regards to a comment Biden made during the first presidential debate in September of 2020, in which he said it was "not true" that Hunter Biden made money from China, with Trump saying beforehand, "once you became vice president he [Hunter Biden] made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places."
"But now, nearly three years later, Biden’s assertions have been directly rebutted by Hunter himself. In court testimony last week, the younger Biden acknowledged that he in fact had been paid substantial sums in China — the first official confirmation that this was the case," the Washington Post wrote.
The outlet admitted that Hunter Biden was given a seat on Ukrainian energy company Burisma’s board when Biden was vice president, and that Hunter Biden flew with his father on an official trip to China in 2013, where Hunter admitted that he used the trip to connect with a Chinese business partner that he introduced his father to.
12 days after the trip, Hunter Biden joined the board of BHR, whose partners included the man Hunter introduced to his father.
In 2017, Hunter Biden entered a deal with Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC China Energy, and over the course of 14 months, CEFC and its executives paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and James Biden, Joe Biden’s brother.
During questioning from US District Judge Maryellen Noreika last week during a hearing on a potential plea agreement reached with the Justice Department on federal misdemeanor tax crimes and a gun charge, Hunter Biden reported nearly $2.4 million in income in 2017 and $2.2 million in income in 2018 after expenses, most of which came from Chinese or Ukrainian interests, court testimony revealed.
The agreement "says during the calendar year 2017, you earned substantial income including just under a million dollars from a company you formed with a CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate," Noreika said.
"I started a company called Hudson West, your honor, and my partner was associated with a Chinese energy company called CEFC," said Hunter Biden, who also confirmed that CEFC also paid him an additional $644,000 during that year.
Hunter Biden said he earned $500,000 in directors fees from Burisma, or about $42,000 a month.
The comment was given "Four Pinnochios" in relation to its level of truthfulness.
Three Pinocchios is described as having "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions," but is in the realm of "mostly false." Four Pinocchios, on the other hand, is only described as "whoppers."
"Joe Biden’s comment that Hunter Biden made no money in China was made in the course of a contentious debate in which he rebutted a number of false claims made by Trump. Yet he made his statement in response to a direct question from the moderator. It’s possible he purposely tailored his answer to just the period when he was vice president, but Biden has never been known for such parsing of language. The president tends to be sloppier in his phrasing — which often gets him into trouble," the Washington Post wrote.
"But the fact remains that Biden, during the debate, denied his son had made money in China. In court last week, his son has said he earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chinese business deals."
When the Biden administration started in 2021, Glenn Kessler, the reporter behind Washington Post’s Fact Checker, said that "We have no plans to start a Biden false or misleading claims tracker, just as we had no plans at this point to start a Trump tracker."
It was revealed though that the outlet started fact-checking Trump on the first day of his presidency, citing 30,573 "false or misleading claims" given by the former president, being filtered by topic.
Kessler said in late April 2021 that "we do not plant to extend beyond 100 days" the Biden fact check database, writing, "I have learned by lesson."
Kessler, sympathetic towards Biden, wrote "More typical for Biden, when he uttered a false statement, was some subtle truth-stretching."
The April note on the continuation of fact-checking Biden came days after Kessler accused Sen. Tim Scott of not being oppressed enough, digging into historical and ancestry documents.
"Our research reveals a more complex story than what Scott tells audiences. Scott’s grandfather’s father was also a substantial landowner — and Scott’s grandfather, Artis Ware, worked on that farm. Scott’s family history in South Carolina offers a fascinating window into a little-known aspect of history in the racist South following the Civil War and in the immediate aftermath of slavery — that some enterprising Black families purchased property as a way to avoid sharecropping and achieve a measure of independence from White-dominated society," Kessler wrote.
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