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Trump struggles to answer when asked for proof of Biden ‘corruption’

Former president Donald Trump on Tuesday struggled to answer when he was asked for proof that Joe Biden had personally benefitted from his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.

At a town hall event in Greenville, South Carolina, the GOP front-runner was asked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham about his response to those who argue that there is no evidence that president Biden has received any financial benefit from his 53-year-old son’s business ventures.

“But they say there’s no evidence that Joe Biden received any financial benefit personally. And to that you say?” Ingraham asked Mr Trump.

The former president gave a vague response, telling the Fox News host: “Well, he’s got a lot of houses all over the place. And he’s never been paid more than about $179,000.”

President Biden currently makes a salary of $400,000 per year. During his eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, he earned about $235,000 per year. And in his 36 years in the Senate, his salary peaked at just over $169,000 a year in 2008.

Meanwhile, between his time as vice president and president – from 2017 and 2019 – Mr Biden earned more than $16.5m from large payouts for book deals and speaking gigs. He also bought his second home in Delaware in 2017, a 4,800-square-foot vacation home in Rehoboth Beach he purchased for $2.74m.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham in Greenville, South Carolina (REUTERS)
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham in Greenville, South Carolina (REUTERS)

“He’s gotten a lot of money,” Mr Trump said, before making accusations about the president’s son. “Hunter’s gotten a lot of money. Hunter gets millions of dollars just for sitting on a board, an energy board, and he admits that he knows nothing about energy.”

Hunter Biden spent five years on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that paid him around $11m between 2013 to 2018 for legal work.

Joe Biden was previously accused by Republicans, without any evidence, of improperly withholding a loan guarantee and taking a bribe to pressure Ukraine into firing prosecutor general Viktor Shokin to prevent a corruption investigation of Burisma.

The accusation was later proved to be false and Donald Trump was impeached in 2019 for allegedly attempting to coerce Ukraine and other countries to investigate Joe Biden and provide damaging narratives about the former vice-president.

House Republicans are currently still attempting to impeach President Biden over accusations that he profited from his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, with the House voting to formalise their ongoing impeachment inquiry in December.

So far, no conclusive evidence has been produced to prove any wrongdoing against the Bidens, but House speaker Mike Johnson has insisted that the investigation is necessary and not a spurious political vendetta against a commander-in-chief his side disapproves of, as Democrats have alleged.

Pete Aguilar, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, previously accused House GOP members of using the impeachment inquiry as a smokescreen for getting Donald Trump re-elected.

“It’s painfully obvious that they are trying to hurt President Biden politically to help Donald Trump get re-elected,” he said.