A 2018 voicemail that first surfaced last week may show Joe Biden calling his son Hunter Biden to talk about a New York Times article discussing Hunter’s business dealings. This revelation comes after now-President Biden repeatedly denied involvement in his son’s business dealings.
The recording was first reported by the Daily Mail last week and was reportedly left on Hunter Biden’s phone on Dec. 12, 2018, the same day the New York Times published an article describing Chinese oil tycoon Ye Jianming’s efforts to gain influence in Washington D.C. circles, including meeting with Hunter in 2017.
The Daily Mail reportedly obtained the Dec. 12, 2018 voicemail from documents stored on a laptop the younger Biden abandoned.
The voicemail begins with a voice that sounds like the older Biden saying, “Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance, just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you.”
The older Biden then seems to broach the subject of the New York Times article saying, “I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good.”
“I think you’re clear,” the voice of the older Biden added. “And anyway if you get a chance, give me a call, I love you.”
As of the 2018 article, it is not clear if Hunter Biden ever struck any business deals with Ye and, through his attorney, the younger Biden declined a New York Times request for comment.
Ye was the founder and former chairman of CEFC China Energy. According to the 2018 New York Times article, Ye had sought access to high-ranking Washington officials. Ye reportedly met with Joe Biden when he was still the vice president. An aide to Ye also met with Hunter Biden. People “with direct knowledge” of their interactions said Ye eventually met privately with Hunter Biden at a hotel in Miami, Florida in May of 2017. During the meeting, Ye reportedly proposed a partnership to invest in U.S. infrastructure and energy projects.
The alleged 2018 voicemail could contradict Joe Biden’s repeated claims that he never spoke to Hunter Biden about his foreign business transactions. During one Sept. 21, 2019 presidential campaign stop in Iowa, Joe Biden said, “I’ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly declined to comment on the new voicemail during a press briefing on Tuesday, stating she would not comment on “alleged materials on a laptop.”
The New York Times reported Ye asked one U.S. security official if the U.S. would refrain from bombing an oil field in Syria if he bought it.
Ye was arrested by Chinese authorities in 2018 on suspicions of unspecified economic crimes. One of Ye’s top advisors, Patrick Ho, was arrested in the U.S. in November of 2017 and convicted in 2019 on charges of bribery and money laundering in an effort to obtain valuable oil rights in African countries.
James Biden, the brother of Joe Biden and uncle of Hunter Biden said he was contacted by Ho around the time of Ho’s arrest. According to the 2018 New York Times article, James said he believed the call from Ho had been intended for Hunter and told the publication he had passed on his nephew’s contact information.