White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions Wednesday about one of President Biden‘s nominees for a top diplomatic post attending Hunter Biden‘s art show in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat who has been nominated to be Mr. Biden‘s ambassador to India, was among the star-studded attendees, raising serious ethical questions for the White House.
“We’ve spoken to the arrangement that is run by the gallerist and Hunter Biden‘s representatives that the White House provided suggestions for,” Ms. Psaki said, brushing off questions about the show. “I’d refer you to the gallerist for questions about the event and, as well, representatives of Mr. Garcetti about his attendance.”
Hunter Biden‘s paintings, which are being offered for as much as $500,000, have raised concerns that purchasers could try to influence the White House.
Ms. Psaki has insisted that an agreement with the gallery owners who are showing Hunter Biden‘s art stipulates that all buyers will remain anonymous and neither the White House nor Hunter Biden would know their identity.
She has also said Hunter Biden would not discuss anything related to selling his art.
But the murky arrangement has raised questions about transparency and whether the Biden administration is backtracking on some of its ethics pledges.
Ms. Psaki sidestepped questions Wednesday about whether the arrangement with the galleries violates the administration’s commitment to transparency.
“We were very transparent about what recommendations were made to the gallerists and, again, I would point you to them or the many times I’ve spoken about them,” she told a reporter.
The tense exchange was the second time this week that the first son has created headaches for Ms. Psaki.
On Monday, she declined to say whether Hunter Biden still held a 10% stake in a Chinese private equity firm that is controlled by the Bank of China. Ms. Psaki would only say that he‘s been “working to wind that down.”