Biden, KJP asked whether Hunter might get a pardon, only one gives response

Federal charges brought against Hunter Biden drew disparate responses from the president and his communications team as each was asked pointedly about the potential of a pardon.

President Joe Biden managed to complete a trifecta of embarrassments this week following international and domestic gaffes, with the announcement from Congress about the commencement of an impeachment inquiry. Matters only got worse when special counsel David Weiss announced the indictment of the president’s son on federal gun charges.

The following day, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Associated Press reporter Aamer Madhani whether the possibility of a conviction for the first son would be wiped clean by Biden.

“And just a brief second one. Would the president pardon or commute his son if he’s convicted?” prompted the reporter, earning a sneer from Jean-Pierre, “So, I’ve answered this question before. It was asked of me not too long ago, a couple of weeks ago. And I was very clear, and I said no.”

To the press secretary’s point, in July, Fox News’ Mark Meredith had asked, “I know you said not a lot has changed since yesterday and it’s a personal matter, but, from a presidential perspective, is there any possibility that the president would end up pardoning his son?”

“No,” answered Jean-Pierre, who snapped back at a follow-up question, “I just said no. I just answered.”

That exchange had occurred shortly after the younger Biden’s planned plea agreement related to his tax fraud case.

Meanwhile, as the press secretary deflected when questioned by reporters, the president deployed one of his favored tactics for dealing with an issue he didn’t want to face. He turned his back and walked away.

Upon closing remarks about the United Auto Workers going on strike with lofty demands for pay increases accompanying a reduction in weekly hours worked, Biden told the press, “So, thank you very much. That’s all I’m going to say. Thank you,” and made his way to toward the door of the Roosevelt Room.

As he departed, one reporter could be heard asking “Should Hunter get pardoned?” to which the president grabbed the door to swing closed behind him without a word.

Later that same day, as he made a gaffe stereotyping the education levels of veterans and minorities, his attempt at humor only added to worsened optics as Biden said before a crowd at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland, “I wish I had a chance to take all your questions, but I’m going to get real trouble if I do that.”

Denials weren’t enough to sway public opinion on what Biden would likely do should his son ultimately be convicted, and users sounded off on social media suggesting the responses were far more than merely disingenuous.


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Kevin Haggerty


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