The White House on Tuesday confirmed that the president’s son and sister ‘paid for their way’ during their journey with President Biden to their ancestral homeland – without providing more specifics about the nature of the costs they incurred.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre finally spoke to the logistics at her first press briefing since she and Biden returned from the four day trip, which included visits with Biden’s extended family members in County Lough and County Mayo – along with a series of highs, lows, and occasional gaffes.
The president was accompanied by his sister Valerie Biden Owens, a key political advisor of Biden’s for decades, as well as his son Hunter, who is the subject of Republican probes. They flew with the president aboard Air Force One and accompanied him to key moments on the trip, which included visits with cousins, a trip to a genealogy center and a hospice associated with Beau Biden, and joined him at a pub with family ties.
‘This is not the first time, let’s be very, very clear. It is consistent with other Presidents when they’ve had family travel with them abroad,’ Jean-Pierre said, asked by DailyMail.com whether the pair paid for air fare, accommodations, and ground transportation.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Hunter Biden and Valerie Biden Owens ‘paid for their own way’ when accompanying President Joe Biden on his trip to Ireland last week. She said it was ‘nothing new’ and followed the same protocol as prior presidents
‘This is nothing new. So, just want to make sure that we make that very clear to the American people. And of course, we follow every protocol that any other president or every other President has taken when family has traveled,’ she said, before making her way to a direct answer.
‘And so, yes. We we took every protocol that is necessary and needed, like family travel, we did nothing different than past presidents. So yes, they paid – they paid for their way,’ she said.
Asked if they had paid their share of costs, she responded, ‘Yes. Every other – this is this is not unusual. This is not the first time that families have traveled with the President. So there’s there’s nothing there’s no there’s a policy question.’
There are many precedents for presidents bringing family abroad as President Bill Clinton did when he brought daughter Chelsea to India. Former President Donald Trump brought daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to his first trip as president to Saudi Arabia and numerous other locales (Kushner’s latest ventures has backing from a Saudi sovereign wealth fund).
President Joe Biden got help from his son Hunter as he took questions from children when he arrived in Dublin on Wednesday. Hunter helped point him to people to call on
Former Irish rugby union player Rob Kearney (l), a distant Biden relative, was on hand when the president spoke at a pub
President Joe Biden visits the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland, where a plaque bears his son Beau’s name. He was flanked by Hunter Biden and Valerie Biden Owens
Hunter Biden is facing multiple Republican probes. Valerie Biden Owens has led Biden’s major campaigns
Biden takes a selfie outside the Windsor Bar in Dundalk as crowds line the streets for his visit. The trip featured visits to County Mayo as well as County Lough, where Biden traces family roots
The White House staged a spectacular farewell speech
President Joe Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens, left, and his son Hunter Biden watch as President Biden greets people at Dublin International Airport in Dublin, Ireland
The trip was a family reunion for Biden, although he also marked the 25th anniversary of the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement
Hunter and Valerie, 77, drew notice on the Ireland trip in part because the White House acknowledged the trip was partly personal – an assessment backed up by a visit to a church where one of Biden’s Blewitt ancestors helped provide the bricks, time at a genealogy center, and a trip to a pub with family connections where his rugby playing distant cousin caught up with him.
Biden also marked the recent 25th anniversary of the Belfast / Good Friday agreement that helped bring peace to the violent time knowns as ‘the Troubles.’
Jean-Pierre’s comment about the family members picking up their share of costs came after the White House declined to provide specifics on what they paid for in response to previous inquiries.
‘Historically, family members of Presidents and First Ladies have frequently joined them during international travel. Current practices are consistent with those used by prior Administrations. They cover all additional personal expenses,’ a White House spokesperson said last week.
Former Vice President Mike Pence – a potential 2024 rival – blasted his journey to an ancestral homeland the men share in light of the Pentagon security leak, a matter that followed Biden throughout the trip.
‘Well, I have to tell you, I’ve been to Ireland, it is a beautiful place, my grandfather immigrated from Ireland,’ Pence said in an interview from his home in Indiana on Friday.
‘But with everything this country is dealing with: inflation at 40-year high, American people struggling, China provocation, Russia on the move in eastern Europe, I don’t get what appears to be a family vacation in Ireland taking precedence and the president not doing a full-blown press conference,’ Pence added.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11987405/Valerie-Biden-Owens-Hunter-DID-foot-bill-trip-Ireland-White-House-says.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270