On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sounded perhaps surprisingly dismissive of recent rhetoric from President Donald Trump. Putin was responding to the whirlwind of allegations of supposed corruption on the part of the Biden family. These allegations, which Trump and his allies have wound themselves up into a rage to peddle throughout recent weeks, hinge on Hunter Biden’s supposed unethical leveraging of the family name for financial gain, but there’s no evidence of criminal activity. Putin observed as much — he said that he was aware of nothing criminal about Hunter Biden’s business connections in Ukraine.
As Reuters reports, Putin said the following on Sunday:
‘Yes, in Ukraine he [Hunter Biden] had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians. But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this [being criminal].’
This characterization stands in stark contrast to the descriptions of the Biden family that have come out of the Trump camp. Top Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in particular has been among those who’ve seemed the most desperate to get the “Biden crime family” nickname to stick — but they’re not a “crime family.” Alleging as much about the Bidens is just conspiratorial nonsense. During the recent final debate between Trump and Biden, Trump insisted that “Joe got $3.5 million from Russia and it came through Putin, because he was very friendly with the former mayor of Moscow and it was the mayor of Moscow’s wife” — but this claim just unequivocally is not true.
The $3.5 million number comes from a payment that a late former Moscow mayor’s wife made for consulting services to a firm called Rosemont Seneca Thornton — but Hunter Biden co-founded a firm called Rosemont Seneca Advisors, and CNN reported recently that it’s “not clear what connection exists between Rosemont Seneca Advisors and Rosemont Seneca Thornton.” (Reuters reports that Putin “reacted with visible irritation” and “said he knew nothing about the existence of any commercial relationship between Hunter and the woman.”) Even if a connection between the ex-Moscow mayor’s wife’s money and Hunter Biden was established, there’s no evidence that the payment was criminal let alone that Joe got any of it. Such a broad portion of the Trump team’s claims about the Bidens are lies.