MSNBC’s Ali Velshi said Monday there is no evidence Joe Biden used his position to pressure Ukraine to fire the country’s prosecutor, even though the former vice president was recorded admitting to the allegations in 2018.
The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has come under fire over past allegations he forced Ukrainian authorities to fire a top prosecutor looking into a gas company connected with his son Hunter Biden. The allegations resurfaced in September after a whistleblower alleged President Donald Trump pressured the country to look into Joe Biden.
“President Trump had repeatedly suggested without evidence that Joe Biden used his VP position to pressure Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor,” Velshi said Monday on “MSNBC Live.”
Trump has denied the allegations, calling them “highly partisan” and urging the public to focus on Biden’s dealings with the country.
However, Joe Biden admitted on camera to pressuring Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor at a Council on Foreign Relations event on Jan. 23, 2018.
“I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars,” Joe Biden said. “I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Joe Biden has denied ever discussing his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. However, a July article from The New Yorker cites Hunter Biden recalling an instance where his father did discuss the Ukrainian natural-gas producer Burisma once.
Viktor Shokin, the former general prosecutor of Ukraine, was investigating Burisma, a company connected to Hunter Biden. Hunter began working for the company in 2014. This was around the time Joe Biden was helping with the Obama administration’s efforts to “pressure Ukraine to root out corruption,” Business Insider reported.
Joe Biden’s campaign and MSNBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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