Hunter Biden admits Burisma hired him because of family name


Hunter Biden has admitted that he got a job on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma because of his family name, as he opens up about a job that almost cost his father the presidency.

The 51-year-old said Burisma viewed his family name as ‘gold’ when the firm hired him in 2014 because it is ‘synonymous with democracy and transparency’ and hoped to capitalize on that reputation while trying to counter Russian ‘aggression’ in Crimea.

Hunter was paid up to $50,000 per month by the gas firm despite his lack of experience in the energy sector.

But he denied leveraging connections to his father Joe – who was then US vice president and leading Obama’s policy on Ukraine – while in the job, saying his day-to-day was ‘100% limited to… corporate governance and transparency’. 

He also admitted that being a Biden had ‘opened doors that wouldn’t be opened up to other people’, but said that was ‘both a privilege and a burden’.

Hunter Biden has admitted that he got a job on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2014 because of his family name (pictured, Hunter at his father’s inauguration as President)

President-elect Joe Biden, his son Hunter and wife Jill appear on stage during a celebratory event held outside of the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, in November 2020

President-elect Joe Biden, his son Hunter and wife Jill appear on stage during a celebratory event held outside of the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, in November 2020

Joe Biden (second from right) and his son, Hunter (far right), golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer (far left), who served on the board of Burisma with Hunter. The photo from 2014 emerged during the presidential campaign

Joe Biden (second from right) and his son, Hunter (far right), golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer (far left), who served on the board of Burisma with Hunter. The photo from 2014 emerged during the presidential campaign

Asked by the BBC whether his father’s reputation had got him the Burisma job, he replied: ‘I think it played a large part.

‘I think that they saw my name as gold and the reason they did was this: Right at that time, the Russians had invaded and taken Crimea and they were after the natural resources and the pipeline. 

‘And I know that Burisma wanted to do one thing: They wanted to create a bulwark against that Russian aggression, they knew they had to expand internationally and into other sectors to diversify and protect themselves.

‘The Biden name is synonymous with democracy and transparency and that’s why I said it was gold to them.’ 

Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma came under intense scrutiny during the presidential campaign, with Donald Trump referring to ‘quid pro Joe’, to suggest that the then-VP had pressured the Ukrainian government to assist his son’s career.  

Prior to this, it formed a central part of the impeachment saga, with Trump telling Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a July, 2019, phone call: ‘There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son.’ 

Although no criminality by the Bidens was ever proved, a senior state department official had raised concerns over a potential conflict of interest as far back as 2015.

Hunter defended his qualifications for the position, but admitted that he ‘missed… the perception that I would create’ by taking the job at Burisma.

‘I know that it is hard to believe with 2020 hindsight how I could possibly have missed that,’ Hunter told the BBC.   

Senate Republicans last year found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens but called Hunter’s lucrative work while his father was the VP ‘problematic.’ 

Hunter has previously admitted that taking the job may have been ‘poor judgement’ as it became a lightning rod during the presidential battle.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, he said he wanted his new memoir, Beautiful Things, to describe ‘the love of a family and how it saved me.’

He described how the love of his father had helped to pull him through addiction – which, like Ukraine, had become a major talking point in the race for the White House. 

‘And, you know, we’re going through two pandemics right now… there’s the pandemic of coronavirus, and there’s a pandemic of addiction too,’ Biden told the broadcaster.

He described how the death of his mother and sister at the age of two in 1972 had left a lasting trauma which he believes is linked to his struggled with alcohol and drugs.

‘There’s something at the centre of each addict that’s missing, that they feel that they need to fill… Nothing can possibly fill it. And so you numb yourself,’ he said.

Hunter said that after his brother Beau died of cancer in 2015, he ‘descended into a really dark, dark place.’

‘My brother had just died, I’d separated with my wife, I was in an apartment by myself, and I was basically drinking myself to death. It was awful. I mean, grief does funny things. And combine that with addiction and it is a really hard thing to overcome,’ he told the BBC. 

But he said it was the love of his father that pulled him through and described how Joe had come knocking on his door when he was living alone and abusing alcohol.

‘I know no one’s ever loved a son as much as my Dad loved me,’ Hunter said. 

He also described how his wild private life became the source of fuel for the Trump campaign but said that in the end, ‘We won and he won.’

He said he had been filled with pride during one of the presidential debates when Joe told the country: ‘My son is an addict and he’s in recovery and I’m proud of him – and I know millions of people out there who understand exactly that.’

Hunter added: ‘It wasn’t a political calculation, it was from the heart.’  

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn't know if the laptop is even his

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn't know if the laptop is even his

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn’t know if the laptop is even his

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn't know if the laptop is even his

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn't know if the laptop is even his

Photos of Hunter that were discovered on the laptop that was handed into a Delaware computer repair store last year. He says he was so hooked on drugs and alcohol at the time that he doesn’t know if the laptop is even his

Asked whether his father had plans to run for re-election at the age of 82, Hunter told the BBC: ‘My dad is younger than me in his physical and mental capacity… I don’t know anyone that has more energy.’

It comes after Biden spoke to CBS on Sunday to promote his new memoir in which he revealed new details about his addiction, including that he was smoking crack ‘around the clock’ and drinking a quart of vodka every day at his lowest point.  

He also spoke about his controversial affair with his late brother Beau’s widow, Hallie, and how the pair of them thought their shared love and grief would ‘bring him back’ but that it ‘didn’t work’.

Hunter, 51, also described meeting his current wife, Melissa, and marrying her within seven days of their first date. He says she is a ‘miracle’ and that she saved his life.

He claims to have been sober for seven years, from 2008 until 2015, after battling drug and alcohol addiction his entire life. His brother Beau’s death in 2015, he says, sent him hurtling back into addiction.

It all comes from an unresolved feeling of ‘not fitting in’, he said, that he thinks is from the trauma of losing his mom, Neilia, and sister Naomi, in a car crash when he was two in 1972. Hunter and Beau both survived the accident.

‘I am more convinced now that trauma is at the center of it. I don’t know why I had such a hard time ever admitting that. There’s a lot of research that points to the idea that addicts who suffer from addiction suffered from trauma.

‘Beau and I never grieved the loss of our mother and sister. We talked about my mom all the time, but the accident no. The darkness that I know my dad suffered isn’t something we talked about until much later. This is why I don’t want to admit… we probably should have. I think they were trying to protect us,’ he said.

Hunter called his current wife Melissa, who he married seven days after meeting, a 'miracle'

Hunter called his current wife Melissa, who he married seven days after meeting, a ‘miracle’ 

As a young adult, he said he slipped into a period that was a ‘blur of complete debauchery’.

‘Drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself is absolutely completely debilitating… smoking crack around the clock, drinking insanely lethal amounts of alcohol,’ he said.

He said becoming a laughing stock of the Trump campaign and liability to his father’s campaign did nothing to stop his addiction.

‘It didn’t change my behavior – I still needed to get high and hide and fill that hole,’ he said.

Last year, his father and stepmother, Jill, staged an intervention. Jill pretended that Joe was desperate to see him, he said, and called him to the family home in Wilmington.

‘My mom said he missed me, ‘dad really needs you.’ I walk in and there are my three girls, niece and nephew, mom and dad and two counselors from a rehab center I have been to before. I looked and said not a chance. I exploded. I literally began to run up the driveway.’

In a previously teased clip of the interview, Hunter said Joe chased him, grabbed him into a bear hug, and begged him to stay.

In the interview, Hunter also talked about his controversial relationship with his brother Beau’s widow, Hallie. The pair dated for two years, after Hunter’s marriage to his wife Kathleen broke down. 

It ended around the same time he met Melissa, his current wife, and after he impregnated a stripper in Arkansas, with whom he now has a baby son. 

‘Both of us had gone through the most incredibly painful loss and it was out of love. I thought maybe that love would bring my brother back. It didn’t work,’ he said. 

Asked how he told his children about the relationship with Hallie, he said: ‘It was hard. It was really hard.’

Hunter with his sister Ashley and brother Beau in 2012. He says the pair never dealt with the grief and trauma of losing their mom and sister

Hunter with his sister Ashley and brother Beau in 2012. He says the pair never dealt with the grief and trauma of losing their mom and sister 

Hunter and his brother's widow Hallie had a two year affair after Beau's death

Hunter and his brother's widow Hallie had a two year affair after Beau's death

Hunter and his brother’s widow Hallie had a two year affair after Beau’s death. Beau and Hallie are shown, left, in 2010 

Hunter was just two when his mother Neilia and baby sister Naomi died in a car crash in 1972. He is shown, far left, with his family. The crash happened later that year

Hunter was just two when his mother Neilia and baby sister Naomi died in a car crash in 1972. He is shown, far left, with his family. The crash happened later that year

‘The hardest amends to make was to my brother. I made a promise to him that I would be OK,’ he said. 

He met Melissa on a blind date and married her seven days later. He said he told her within an hour that he was a crack addict and that she put a stop to it. 

‘I told her an hour later, I’m a crack addict. She said well that ends now. I knew it was my last chance,’ he said. 

They now have a baby son, Beau Biden Jr.  

Hunter said that he was so addicted to drugs that he was not ‘keeping tabs on possessions’ like the laptop that was handed in to a computer repair store in Wilmington, Delaware, last year and contained incriminating photos of him drunk and high. 

It also contained emails between him and a Ukrainian businessman that suggested Joe had met the businessman when he was Vice President.  

Hunter, Melissa and their baby son Beau Biden Jr. are pictured on March 26. He also has a baby son with Arkansas stripper Lunden Roberts

Hunter, Melissa and their baby son Beau Biden Jr. are pictured on March 26. He also has a baby son with Arkansas stripper Lunden Roberts 

‘You don’t need the laptop, you’ve got a book it’s all in the book – the serious answer is i don’t know not that i remember. Whether or not somebody has my laptop, mine was hacked, exists a laptop at all – I truly don’t know. 

‘Read the book and you’ll realize I wasn’t keeping tabs on possessions very well for the last four years or so,’ he said. 

In 2018, while dating Hallie and hooked on drugs, Hallie confiscate a gun he’d bought and threw it in a trash can outside a grocery store in Wilmington. 

The Secret Service got involved in trying to retrieve it, and they even asked owner of the gun store where Hunter had bought it for the deed which proved his ownership of it, according to Politico. 

Hunter said Hallie was trying to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. 

‘It’s a concern that I would hurt myself or do something. She was just concerned about me. 

‘Again, the period of my life that was difficult, I don’t know. Hallie’s intent was to make certain that I didn’t do anything to hurt myself. We knew the gun was lost, Hallie had thrown it into a trash can I told her you can’t do that… someone had gone through the trash. 

‘That was the end of the story. I had no idea [that the Secret Service was involved] why they would be – I don’t think that’s true,’ he said. 

He added that he will cooperate ‘fully’ with an ongoing investigation into his taxes and that while he never did anything wrong by serving on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, he wouldn’t do it again. 

He added that he never gave his father a ‘nickel’ from his foreign business dealings and that he underestimated the extent to which the Trumps would criticize them.  



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