White House responds to Trump's request of Putin in JTN interview

Trump was referring to 2020 Senate report that disclosed a deal with Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina in public request of Putin

Updated: March 31, 2022 - 4:06pm

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The White House is criticizing former President Trump's request for Russian leader Vladimir Putin to release information about any possible Hunter Biden business dealings in Eastern Europe, saying the request was at least poorly timed considering the Russia-Ukraine War. 

Citing a 2020 Senate report that disclosed Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, then the wife of Moscow's mayor, provided $3.5 million a decade ago to a company co-founded by Hunter Biden, Trump wanted to know why the money was given.

"She gave him $3.5 million. So now I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it," Trump said. "I think we should know that answer."

Hunter Biden is the son of President Biden. His business dealings while his father was vice president became of great interest during the 2020 presidential race and continue to be. News reports about the discovery of a laptop owner by Hunter Biden in a Delaware repair shop in October 2020 that contained related emails have until recently been dismissed as disinformation. 

"What kind of American, let alone an ex-president, thinks that this is the right time to enter into a scheme with Vladimir Putin and brag about his connections to Vladimir Putin?" White House spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said Wednesday in response to reporters' questions on the issue. "There is only one, and it's Donald Trump."