COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy implied Saturday that U.S. involvement in the war in Ukraine may be because of President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden.
“The purpose of the U.S. military [is] to advance American interests, to protect the homeland. Not to aimlessly fight some random war that’s arguably a repayment for a private bribe that a family member of the United States received, $5 million from Burisma,” Ramaswamy told a crowd of about 60 at a campaign event in Council Bluffs.
Ramaswamy, who’s crisscrossing Iowa in a bid to win the Republican nomination, has been highly critical of U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine on the trail.
“Was the payment to Hunter Biden corrupt? Absolutely it was. Do I think that it has some relationship towards our posture toward Ukraine? I think it’s likely that it does,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy appeared to be referring to an alleged bribe involving the president and his son. House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., has claimed he was told by a whistleblower — whose claims are uncorroborated — about a tip regarding a $5 million payment from a foreign national to Joe Biden, then the vice president, and a family member “relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”
Republicans later identified the other family member as Hunter Biden, who at the time was an attorney and a board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.
The White House has denied the president had any participation in his son’s business dealings.
Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden’s, was questioned by the Republican-led House Oversight Committee on Monday. According to transcripts from the closed-door interview, Archer said the president’s son used the Biden “brand” to his advantage while he was working for Burisma.
He also testified that he had no knowledge of the president’s having altered U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine to help his son.
Archer said that Hunter Biden would put his father on speakerphone in front of business associates at dinners but that the conversations centered on small talk like the weather.
Russia invaded Ukraine in the winter of 2022, years after Biden left Burisma’s board. Since the invasion, the Biden administration and Congress have given billions of dollars of aid to Ukraine even though polls show the public is split over sending more money.