Psaki Defends Hunter Biden’s Expected Meetings with Potential Art Buyers
During a briefing Thursday White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Hunter Biden's decision to meet with potential buyers of his art on the grounds that he would not negotiate prices in person.
The president's son will attend two gallery exhibitions of his paintings later this year in Los Angeles and New York, where he is expected to meet potential buyers, CBS reported on Wednesday. The paintings could sell for up to $ 500,000, an arrangement that has been criticized by various ethics experts.
"We have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House," Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, told the Washington Post earlier this month.
Psaki claimed Thursday that Hunter Biden “will not have any talks related to the sale of art. That is left to the gallery owner, ”according to an agreement the White House announced earlier this month.
"We believe this is a sensible system ... that will allow Hunter Biden to operate with proper safety in his profession," added Psaki.
When a reporter asked why the White House wouldn't just publish the names of the buyers, Psaki reiterated that the White House and Hunter Biden will not know who the buyers are.
"We won't know who they are, so there is no scenario in which they can influence," said Psaki.
"Can't you just post on social media that you've bought a painting?" Asked the reporter.
"Again, I think we have a system in place ... [that] has proper security in place," Psaki replied. "We believe that Hunter Biden, like any presidential child, should be able to pursue his jobs and passions, and any sale of the art will be through the gallery owner."
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