On a special edition of The New Abnormal, the president’s son opens up to Molly Jong-Fast about … well, about a lot. Why the Trumps continue to go after him so hard. Why his wife won’t let him have a laptop. How easy it is to cook crack cocaine. How hard it is to live in fear of a relapse.
But Hunter Biden also gave some hard-to-swallow answers about the emails he traded with the bigwigs at energy companies in China and Ukraine—answers that could come back to haunt him. It’s all part of an absolutely gripping episode that you absolutely have to hear.
Jong-Fast asks Biden when he realized that the former president and his son were fixated on him. “That was right around when I started to get sober and clean... It was only then did I realize the level of their obsession because long enough to look up from whatever drink or drug I was just pursuing at the moment. And it seemed like that every word out of the president's mouth was some kind of demeaning or just horrible insult towards me,” he answers.
“Do you think they did it because they wanted you to kill yourself?” Jong-Fast replies.
“As a person in recovery, one of the things that I have truly tried to come to grips with is that the world actually does not revolve around me,” Biden says.
“I mean, usually it doesn’t. But on this, I feel that it does,” Jong-Fast says.
“I don't think that they thought that they would necessarily convince anyone not to vote for my dad because I'm an addict. I think there's far, far too many people—I mean, everyone I know knows someone that they love—that suffer from addiction,” Biden says. “I think that they thought that they would be able to distract my dad enough that he wouldn't be able to focus on the campaign... But it had the exact opposite effect… They obviously don't know what it's like to be a part of a family, at least this family.”
Jong-Fast also asks Biden about the leaked emails that caused such a stir at the end of the campaign. He claims he had no idea what she’s talking about. The email from an executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company, thanking Biden for “the opportunity to meet your father and spend some time with him”?
“I truly don't know the origin of a lot of this stuff,” Biden replies.
The email titled “expectations,” which involved details for how much he might get paid by China's largest private energy company?
“I literally don't know what you're even referring to. Is it from me?” Biden answers. “You know, I mean, there is a intelligence report from, from all of our intelligence agencies that has come to the conclusion that this was a Russian operation.”
The conversation swings back to his oscillation between addiction and recovery—“I talk to somebody in the program at least literally three times a day,” Biden says. Jong-Fast mentions how open he is in the book about his struggle, and about his relationship with his brother’s widow.
“The truth is that I can't afford not to be honest with my myself,” he says. Marriage is hard enough, but then marriage with someone that is going through a cycle of relapse? And then do it in the public eye? It's a dangerous mix.”