CNN Deems It A "Conspiracy Theory" To Question Biden Ties To Ukraine

Authored by Curtis Houck via NewsBusters

What do ABC’s Tom Llamas (with colleagues Lucien Bruggeman, and Matthews Mosk), CNN’s John KingMichelle MalkinThe New Yorker’s Adam EntousJohn Solomon, and James Risen all have in common? 

Apparently, CNN deemed those people to be conspiracy theorists on Friday since they’ve raised questions about Joe Biden’s interactions with the Ukranian government while son Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

CNN Right Now host Brianna Keilar was adamant viewers know this, twice teasing about how an upcoming segment would “fact-check the conspiracy theory” concerning the former Vice President.

Teeing up political correspondent Sara Murray, Keilar sought to discredit the Biden/Ukraine questions by citing the press’s latest DEFCON-1 declaration over the President’s communications with the head of Ukraine that led to a whistle blower complaint.

“So, here's the conspiracy theory the Trump campaign has been urging Ukraine to look into. Essentially they claim that Joe Biden used his power as Vice President to protect his son, Hunter Biden, who worked with a Ukrainian gas company. The catch? Well, the theory has been thoroughly debunked,” Keilar pompously asserted.

Murray then dutifully did her part for the Biden campaign, boasting that the Biden comment that Trump’s “been bother[ed]” by was Biden’s recollection of when “he cracked down on this Ukrainian prosecutor that he felt was very corrupt and threatened to withhold U.S. aid.”

After a Biden soundbite, Murray relied on — what else — anonymous sources to tell her that there’s nothing to worry about because Biden’s intentions of having the Ukrainian prosecutor axed or have the U.S. withhold aide from the country was “because they felt like he wasn’t doing his job” even though that same prosecutor had been investigating the energy company Hunter worked for.

Murray continued with her spin (click “expand”):

[T]hat investigation was already closed. These things were not happening simultaneously and Biden has denied over and over again that he was doing this in any way to try to benefit his son or to use his influence as vice president to benefit his son. So there is no proof whatsoever that Joe Biden did anything wrong or that Hunter Biden did anything wrong. Does it look great? It doesn't look great, but — but there is no evidence there. These things just kind of were both occurring....Ukraine's prosecutor general, he left in August, but back in May he said, “I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of the U.S. presidential elections. Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukranian laws — at least as of now we do not see any wrongdoing.”

She added that there was pressure on the Ukrainians from other international groups, so that meant everything was above board!

On the way to scoring points with the Biden campaign and currying favor with more anonymous sources, CNN neglected to mention colleague John King, who stated the following on May 12’s Inside Politics“Hunter Biden worked for a natural gas company in Ukraine, which is totally fair game. Did the vice president’s son use his dad’s influence to make money somewhere in the world? That's is totally fair game.”

Quick: Someone call H.R.!

Just like those As Seen on TV commercials, there’s more! Not only were these concerns about the Bidens out there before that quote from the Ukrainian prosecutor general, but also well afterward. 

On June 20's Good Morning AmericaWorld News Tonight anchor David Muir informed viewers of an “ABC News investigation into Biden’s son....Did Hunter Biden and his firm make millions overseas in countries where his father, the former vice president, acted as the top U.S. diplomat?”

Here’s more of what my colleague Kyle Drennen wrote at the time:

In the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour, correspondent Tom Llamas pointed out: “This is actually an issue Joe Biden has been dealing with since 2014, but it’s come up again because he’s now running for president.” The reporter warned that “Republicans, including President Trump, are trying to hammer Biden over this,” and framed the story: “At issue, was Hunter Biden profiting off his dad’s work as vice president and did Joe Biden allow it?”

“In 2014, Ukrainians, sick of corruption, revolted. Vice President Joe Biden went to Kiev to help the new government,” Llamas explained. That was followed by a soundbite of Biden telling the Ukrainians: “You have to fight the cancer of corruption.” Llamas exposed the apparent hypocrisy of that statement: “Just three weeks later a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, accused of corruption, appoints Hunter Biden, seen here in their promotional videos, to their board of directors, paying his firm more than a million dollars a year.”

Not only did the report mention Hunter Biden’s suspicious foreign deal making, it also highlighted his past drug use: “Hunter, a lawyer, who had just been discharged from the Navy Reserves for testing positive for cocaine.”

After Entous’s profile of Hunter was published on July 1 that argued his business decisions haven’t exactly been sound, the ABC morning newscast again was the lone network to highlight these conflicts of interest.

Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center