White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki overlooked worries about undue influence to defend Hunter Biden’s upcoming meetings with potential buyers for his paintings.
Just this week, reports indicated that Hunter is scheduled to meet face-to-face with reportedly “anonymous” buyers during at least two upcoming art shows in Los Angeles and New York City. During the events, Hunter will have “an opportunity to interact with potential buyers of his paintings, which the gallery expects to sell for as much as $500,000,” which raises questions about the White House’s commitment to keep the identities of Hunter’s art shoppers secret from the artist, the president, and others.
“We now know that Hunter Biden is going to be able to meet with prospective buyers to art shows where his paintings are going to be on display later this year. How does this square with the goal of keeping him in the dark about the buyers of his art as a means to prevent even the appearance of undue influence?” one reporter asked during the White House press briefing on Thursday.
Instead of directly answering the question, Psaki justified Hunter’s actions by claiming they are within a “reasonable system that has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within appropriate safeguards.”
“He’s not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art. That will be left to the gallerist, as was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago,” Psaki claimed.
Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki calls Hunter Biden's meeting with potential “anonymous” art buyers “reasonable” pic.twitter.com/c3ehNZ7cQq
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She also doubled down on the White House’s questionable ethics resolution that states “the gallery will be the only person who handles transactions or conversations in that vein and will reject any offer that is out of the ordinary.”
When asked whether it would be “more transparent to just release the names of the buyers so that everyone would know who purchased this art and how much they made,” Psaki fired back and claimed that there is no possibility of a “situation for undue influence”
“We won’t know who the buyers are. Hunter Biden won’t know who the buyers are. I think the origin of this line of questioning, which is understandable, is about whether this would provide a situation for undue influence but we won’t know who they are, so there’s no scenario where they could provide influence.”
The reporter pointed out that buyers could simply “announce on social media that they bought a painting,” but Psaki repeated the claim that the White House has “a system which we feel is appropriate.”