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Tue Apr 6, 2021, 01:33 PM


In Hunter Biden’s new memoir, Beautiful Things, the first son chronicles his long battle with substance abuse, writing that “in the last five years alone, my two-decades-long marriage has dissolved, guns have been put in my face, and at one point I dropped clean off the grid, living in $59-a-night Super 8 motels off I-95 while scaring my family even more than myself.” His “deep descent” and crack cocaine addiction came amid the sudden death of his older brother, Beau Biden, in 2015. “After Beau died, I never felt more alone. I lost hope,” he writes in the memoir, which will be released Tuesday. Another struggle Biden delves into is his highly public role as a conservative-media punching bag during his father’s presidential run.

In a CBS interview that aired on Sunday, Biden was questioned about a missing laptop that consumed right-wing media in the late stages of the 2020 race. The saga began last October when the New York Post released a series of documents—material that was allegedly found on Biden’s old computer—to suggest a link between his work for a Ukrainian energy company and his father, Joe Biden, who was then vice president. When asked if the laptop did, in fact, belong to him, Biden told CBS that it “certainly” could have been his but also offered other possible explanations. “I truly do not know the answer to that,” he said. “There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me.”

Some Post journalists reportedly wanted nothing to do with the laptop story, the provenance of which appeared murky. The owner of the computer-repair shop who turned over the contents of the laptop’s hard drive to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said the machine was dropped off and then abandoned at his Delaware IT shop before the FBI eventually seized it in late 2019. Arguably though, the main story that came out of all the reporting on “the laptop from hell,” as Biden describes it in his book, were the embarrassing personal photos and texts that were released to the public.

Still, the Biden son denies any wrongdoing regarding his tenure on the Burisma board. When asked by CBS This Morning cohost Anthony Mason if his father ever benefited from his business dealings in Ukraine or received money from him, Biden confidently denied the assertion. “No. Nothing, ever. Not a nickel,” he said. “Directly or indirectly, not a nickel, ever.” In Hunter Biden’s telling of the controversy, he merely “became a proxy for Donald Trump’s fear that he wouldn’t be reelected.” He does acknowledge in his memoir that the Ukrainian company offered him the high-paying job for geopolitical reasons—namely, a “fuck you to Putin,” given the Obama White House’s opposition to Russia’s excursion in Ukraine. However, Biden claims that Trump only pushed the allegations against him to hit his father. “It was a predictable enough tactic,” he writes. “I expected the president to get far more personal far earlier to exploit the demons and addictions I’ve dealt with for years.”


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