Career diplomat George Kent was asked if he is aware of “any discussions of a perceived conflict of interest on the part of either Hunter Biden or the Vice President” referring to Joe Biden.
In response to a Republican staffer's question, Kent recounted in 2015 being on “a call with somebody on the Vice President’s staff,” though he says he can’t recall who, when he raised concerns he heard “that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the US Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.”
Kent continued: “The message that I recall hearing back was that the Vice President’s son Beau was dying of cancer and that there was no further bandwidth to deal with family related issues at that time."
“That was the end of that conversation," he added.
Kent was asked if that took place in mid-2015, to which he responds, “That would have been in February, because to the best of my recollection Beau Biden died that spring. I then returned to Ukraine in August of 2015 and I believe he passed before then. So the only time that conversation could have happened is in that narrow window between January, February, 2015.”
The diplomat was then asked, “did you ever think through with other State Department officials about maybe we should try to get Hunter Biden to leave the board or maybe we should get the Vice President to transition his key responsibilities on Ukraine to some other senior US official?”
He responded, “No. It’s easy in a conference room like this to have a considered discussion about things. In Ukraine at that time, we had a war with Russian occupation, we had an embassy staff going from 150 Americans to 250 Americans, from no Special Force US Government soldiers to close to 70 in country, our assistance went from $130 million to nearly a billion. And we were working nearly nonstop. Ambassador Pyatt, I can tell you from working for him, would wake up between 4:58 and 5:01, because that was when I got the first email from him, and went to bed between 12:59 and 1:01, because that’s when I would get the last email. He had an internal clock. He only slept 4 hours. And it was nonstop. 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
More context here: CNN previously reported that a spokesman for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign defended the former vice president’s conduct in Ukraine in a statement last month after reports emerged that Kent told congressional investigators that he had voiced concerns in early 2015 about Hunter Biden working for a Ukrainian natural gas company.