The bigger man: Trump shows empathy for Joe Biden over verdict

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump expressed empathy for President Joe Biden over his convicted felon son’s struggles with addiction, noting that there have been problems in his own family.

This week, a Delaware jury found Hunter Biden guilty on three federal gun charges, rejecting his defense strategy of blaming his substance abuse problems, particularly with crack cocaine, for his lapses in judgment.

The elder Biden – far from a sympathetic figure – publicly agonized over the conviction but praised his son’s recovery and in rare kind comments to a political foe whose allies are trying to put him in prison, Trump said he understands what he’s going through and that it’s “a very tough situation for a father.”

(Video Credit: Fox News)

The former president’s remarks came during a brief interview with Fox News reporter Aishah Hasnie who caught up with Trump outside of RNC headquarters in Washington, D.C. after he met with the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Well, I think it’s a very serious thing. I understand that whole subject. I understand it pretty well because I’ve had it with people who have it in their family,” Trump said when being asked about Biden either pardoning or commuting his convicted felon son’s sentence and what he would do if he were in that situation.

“It’s a very tough thing. It’s a very tough situation for a father, it’s a very tough situation for a brother or sister, and it goes on and it’s not stopping, whether it’s alcohol or drugs or whatever it may be,” he added. “It’s a tough thing and so that’s a tough, it’s a tough moment for their family. It’s a tough moment for any family involved in that.”

“Showing quite a bit of empathy there,” Hasnie said after the interview. “But he doesn’t go as far as to say whether he would pardon his own son if he were in that similar situation.”

The former president has previously spoken about the problems in his own family with his brother Fred Trump Jr. falling victim to alcohol and dying in 1981 at just 42 years old from complications of alcoholism.

“He was so handsome, and I saw what alcohol did to him even physically … and that had an impact on me, too,” Trump said of his brother, adding that, “he actually lived a long time longer than you would expect.”

“Let’s say I started drinking, it’s very possible I wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” Trump is quoted by the Washington Post in a 2019 story about his brother’s alcoholism. “There is something about the genetic effect.”

“Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” Biden said in a statement following Hunter’s conviction. “So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

Chris Donaldson


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