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Hunter Biden says he did "nothing improper" in work for Ukrainian company

Politics week in review: October 13th, 2019

Hunter Biden, the son of presidential Democratic candidate Joe Biden, admitted in an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America" that he exercised "poor judgment" in working on the board of a Ukrainian energy company—but said he did "nothing improper" in doing so.

His role on the board of Burisma spurred President Donald Trump to ask Ukraine's president in a now-infamous July 25 call to investigate the Bidens for corruption and to tell reporters earlier this month that both Ukraine and China should look into the Bidens. The president's Ukraine call led the U.S. House to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump. 

Biden told ABC News that he has no regrets about joining the board of Burisma, but "what I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this ridiculous conspiracy idea."

The president, whose children have business dealings in other countries, continues to make baseless claims that Hunter Biden's work amounted to corruption, citing the fact that Joe Biden was vice president at the time and working on diplomatic efforts in Ukraine. 

Biden, who recently announced that he will step down from the board of a Chinese private equity firm, said he only had a "brief exchange" with his father about his role in Ukraine. 

"I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father," Biden also said. "That's where I made the mistake. So I take full responsibility for that."

It is illegal under federal law to seek foreign assistance in U.S. elections. Mr. Trump admits no wrongdoing.

Mr. Trump responded to Hunter Biden's interview on Twitter late Tuesday morning. 

"Hunter Biden was really bad on @GMA," he tweeted. "Now Sleepy Joe has real problems! Reminds me of Crooked Hillary and her 33,000 deleted Emails, not recoverable!"

The Ukrainian prosecutor general announced recently that his office was reviewing previous cases involving a gas firm with ties to Hunter Biden. Joe Biden, who was the front-runner since entering the race, has recently lost his lead in some polls.

Hunter Biden's business dealings are likely to come up at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Ohio, where the former vice president is slated to take the stage at 8 p.m. Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, responded to the interview: "Hunter spoke out after an unprecedented smear campaign by the president of the United States, who is engulfed in a scandal of his own making after asking foreign nations to interfere in our election."

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