Press Secretary Psaki followed up on the plan the White House set in place to ensure that the Bidens are "kept in the dark" about buyers of Hunter Biden's art.
Government ethics watchdogs and art critics have been vocal about their concerns as Hunter Biden prepares for his art exhibitions in the fall, where paintings from the former lawyer and lobbyist are expected to bring in between $75,000 and $500,000 a piece, while buyers will remain anonymous. Opponents have cited the issue of anonymity, noting that foreign governments or lobbyists could buy the art through intermediaries in an effort to gain favor with the Biden administration.
When asked earlier in July about potential ethics violations surrounding Hunter Biden's art sales, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that "a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards."
Psaki noted that the all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist "adhering to the highest industry standards" and that "any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand." She stressed that the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities with Hunter Biden or the administration, "which provides quite a level of protection and transparency."
At the White House press briefing on Thursday, Psaki was asked yet again about Hunter Biden's art exhibitions.
"We now know that Hunter Biden is going to be able to meet with prospective buyers at 2 art shows where his paintings are gonna be on display later this year," the reporter began. "How does this square with the goal of keeping him in the dark about the buyers of his art as a means to prevent even the appearance of undue influence?"
"He's not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art," Psaki replied. "That will be left to the gallerist, as was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago." She added that the gallerist would be sure to "reject any offer that is out of the ordinary."
The reporter pressed Psaki on that point. "Wouldn't it be more transparent to just release the names of the buyers, so that everyone would know who purchased this art and how much they paid?"
"Well we won't know who the buyers are, Hunter Biden won't know who the buyers are," Psaki responded, adding that she understands concerns over the threat of "undue influence."
Psaki also dismissed the notion that buyers could simply announce via social media that they had bought one of the paintings, and reiterated that "Hunter Biden, just like any child of a president, should be able to pursue their professions and their passions."