Amid the controversy over President Donald Trump's alleged remarks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, former Vice President and current Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden apparently did not appreciate being asked to answer questions about his son's central role in the story.
The controversy centers around a complaint raised by an as-yet-anonymous whistleblower, who has claimed that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to work with Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son. Hunter Biden was previously on the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a Ukranian natural gas firm that has been under investigation by Ukranian prosecutors for corruption.
The scandal also potentially implicates Joe Biden himself, who once admitted to pressuring then-Ukranain president Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, while Shokin was leading the investigation into Burisma Holdings.
Biden once bragged during a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations event that in 2014, when he was Vice President and Ukraine was desperate for a one billion dollar loan guarantee from the United States, that he told Poroshenko, "I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money." Biden then told the audience, "Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired."
It would seem facially obvious, in light of the present controversy, that the actual propriety of Hunter Biden's dealings with Burisma, and Joe Biden's involvement in the Ukranian investigation of that company, would be a legitimate subject of a news inquiry.
Nonetheless, when Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden on Saturday whether he had ever talked with his son Hunter about his work with Burisma Holdings, Joe Biden visibly lost his cool and treated the inquiry as completely out of bounds.
Biden first implausibly denied having ever spoken with Hunter about the matter, but then turned on Doocy, saying, "Here's what I know. I know Trump deserves to be investigated... you should be asking HIM the question: why is he on the phone with a foreign leader? Trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that's what happened."
Biden then snapped at Doocy, "Ask the right questions!"
Biden's team actually tweeted the exchange from Biden's twitter account, with the caption, "Eight. That's how many times Donald Trump asked a foreign leader to investigate me and my family. Why? Because he knows I'll beat him like a drum."
Eight. That’s how many times Donald Trump asked a foreign leader to investigate me and my family. Why? Because he… https://t.co/0Pqt7XKRST— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1569088806.0
The whistleblower's complaint has not yet been corroborated and appears to have been based on a secondhand account of the alleged conversations with Zelensky. The Ukranian foreign minister has strongly disputed that Trump pressured Zelensky in the alleged phone call.