Donald Trump Jr. challenged Hunter Biden to a debate over who has benefited more financially from their father holding a prominent government office and invited Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei to moderate.
The president’s oldest son joined “Axios on HBO” for an interview that aired on Sunday night and VandeHei asked Trump Jr. about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
“I was an international business person before my father got into politics. That’s what we did. I’m not going to say I haven’t benefited from my father’s last name, just like Hunter Biden did. That’d be foolish to say,” Trump Jr. said. “But, I haven’t benefited from my father’s tax-payer funded office.”
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Trump Jr. then brought up Hunter Biden’s controversial ties to the Ukraine.
“All of the sudden, he goes over to the Ukraine and he’s making 83K a month, so the media likes to do this, sort of false equivalence. ‘You’re doing this, you’re doing that,” Trump Jr. said to VandeHei. “We stopped doing any new international business deals when my father won the presidency. So, you know what would be great? I’ll let you host it.”
Trump Jr. then challenged Hunter Biden to a formal debate.
“You moderate a debate between Hunter Biden and myself,” Trump Jr. said to the Axios co-founder. “Seriously, we can go full transparency. We show everything and we can talk about all of the places where I’m supposedly grifting but Hunter Biden isn’t. I would love to do it.”
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VandeHei pressed Trump Jr., insisting he has profited off his father’s presidency by penning a book and doing paid speeches.
“I’ve done paid speeches for over a decade. I do a lot. I don’t even do the international ones anymore,” Trump Jr., said. “If you looked at my tax returns, which maybe we could talk about in this debate… I’d 100 percent debate him. Let’s talk about who profited off of who’s public service. Happy to do it.”
Trump Jr. also told VandeHei that he would release his tax returns for the event.
VandeHei did not immediately respond when asked if he would moderate if Biden accepted the challenge. Hunter Biden could not immediately be reached.
Hunter Biden, who is in the midst of an ongoing paternity case, joined the natural gas company Burisma Holdings board in April 2014. Biden apparently cannot speak Ukrainian and had no relevant natural gas experience.
Critics have alleged Hunter Biden might have been selling access to his father, who had pushed Ukraine to increase its natural gas production. Joe Biden has said he never discussed his son’s overseas business dealings — an assertion seemingly contradicted by both his son and a photo obtained by Fox News.
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Last month, Trump Jr. told Fox News that he’d be in jail if he “had done a fraction of what Hunter Biden has openly admitted” to doing.
“Hunter Biden was paid $83,000 a month by an energy company in Ukraine. He didn’t know anything about energy and didn’t speak the language. The only thing he had was a daddy who happened to be the vice president of the United States. This same guy flew to China on Air Force Two, took a meeting with the Chinese government, and came back with $1.5 billion — without ever doing business in the country previously,” he said. “If I came back with $1.50, I would be in jail.”
The New York Times reported last month that the 50-year-old Hunter is spending his time attempting to pass himself off as a painter in a rented $12,000-per-month hideout in Hollywood Hills while driving a Porsche.
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The issue is a sensitive subject for the former vice president, who has lashed out at voters for bringing up issues with his son’s possible corruption.
Fox News’ Gregg Re and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.