After House Republicans released a report connecting some of President Joe Biden’s relatives to a Chinese energy company, the New York Times pushed back on the right-wing narrative that this indicates Biden and his family have engaged in “improper” foreign business dealings which threatened U.S. national security. Right-wing media instead latched on to this inconclusive partisan report, endorsing it and claiming it serves as evidence that Biden and his family are compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.
On March 16, about two months after opening its long-awaited investigation into the Biden family, the House Oversight and Reform Committee released a report detailing that Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, daughter-in-law Hallie Biden, and brother James Biden received collectively $1.3 million dollars between 2015-2017 from a family associate connected to a Chinese energy company. (House Democrats dispute the GOP's claim about Hallie Biden, saying money was transferred to her account before Hunter Biden received payments connected to a Chinese company.)
The same day, the New York Times released an article emphasizing that this report is the result of a purely political investigation, with House Republicans “hunt[ing] for evidence that the president and his family have profited improperly from his position.” The article also noted that Chairman James Comer (R-KY) admits to not having full context — it is unclear why Biden’s relatives received this money. As the New York Times reported:
The inquiry is a centerpiece of Republicans’ effort to use their majority in the House to antagonize Mr. Biden and subject him to the same kind of scrutiny that Democrats applied to former President Donald J. Trump, who never divested himself of his business empire upon becoming president and who records show profited extensively from foreign governments during his presidency.
The New York Times makes it clear that the GOP’s new report does not connect Biden to any Chinese company and that it “did not show anything illegal or improper.” Yet, right-wing media is using the House Oversight Committee’s report to claim that the president and his family likely threatened national security and are compromised by the Chinese government. Here are just a few examples:
- In a 10 minute segment on Fox News’ Outnumbered, panelists seemingly agreed that these payments compromised U.S. national security, with Fox anchor Harris Faulkner questioning, “What are we doing that would ever make China think that we are even a worthy adversary? Nothing. So is there some exposure that we’re having as a nation based on any of these business deals? I think it’s a fair question because the foreign policy right now does not track with what we are experiencing as risky, as dangerous and as enemy-driven with China.” The panel also focused on Hallie Biden without mentioning that House Democrats dispute that she received any money from the Chinese company.
- On Fox News’ America Reports, New York Post writer and Fox News contributor Miranda Devine suggested that Hunter and James Biden’s names were being used to “bribe top officials and basically open doors using the Biden name” for the “capitalist arm of President Xi's sort of imperialist Belt and Road initiative.”
- Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley called the Biden family “a class on its own” when it comes to “influence peddling.” After agreeing with Comer’s statement that China wouldn’t be spending money if it wasn’t getting a return on its investment, he said, “We have never seen anything like what appears to be the case with the Bidens.”
- Devine told Fox co-host Brian Kilmeade that the money Hunter Biden received was “being paid for work that had been done opening doors and influence peddling around the world by the Biden family and their associates.” Kilmeade added that Hunter and James Biden had “no energy specialty and is he's working with a program that was created to compete with America.”
- Fox host Jesse Watters suggested the president is soft on China because he's compromised, saying, “Hunter brings in the money. Joe does the favors and they spread the cash around the whole fam.” He added, “Joe is soft on Chinese fentanyl, Joe gazes at Chinese spy balloons like a birthday party, Joe’s really wishy washy on the lab leak. Kind of makes you think.”
- America Reports anchors Sandra Smith and John Roberts hosted Comer and allowed him to push his accusations against the president and his family. During the interview, without any pushback from Smith or Roberts, Comer said, “Every single person we have spoken with that was involved with the Biden family influence peddling has said Joe Biden was very involved in the family business.”
- Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk tweeted: “So a Chinese energy company sends $3 million to a Biden family business associate 2 months after Joe leaves office as VP… And then Hallie Biden, Beau Biden's widow and ex-girlfriend of Hunter, mysteriously starts receiving incremental payments. Not suspicious at all!”
- Conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza tweeted that Hallie Biden “had money flowing into her account from a Chinese CCP shell company. James and Frank Biden are also involved. And of course the crime boss, Joe Biden. This isn’t just about wayward Hunter; it’s a FAMILY RACKET.”
- Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted: “I’M DOWN WITH CCP: Hunter Biden Admits China Deals Via Spokesperson, Acts Like It’s No Big Deal.”
- Far-right blog Breitbart published the article: “Hunter Biden Admits to Biden Family’s China Deals for $Millions After Years of Denial.”