Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) claimed on Wednesday that President Joe Biden was improperly involved with his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, only to be thwarted by an NBC reporter’s basic question.
Smith, the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was holding a press conference about the Republican-led investigation into the president and his family and claimed the committee had “over 700 pages of examples where people should be very concerned.”
Although Smith was probably hoping he could throw some red meat to conservatives, NBC reporter Ryan Nobles got in the way simply by asking Smith to explain the timing of the pieces of alleged evidence.
The reporter wondered about the relevance of a WhatsApp message Hunter Biden allegedly sent in 2017, when Donald Trump was the U.S. president and Joe Biden hadn’t yet announced his 2020 presidential run.
“If he’s not the president or the vice president at that time, where’s the wrongdoing? He wasn’t even a candidate for president at that time,” Nobles asked.
“He was a candidate,” the Republican insisted, incorrectly. (Joe Biden announced his presidential candidacy in 2019.)
“What source are you with?” Smith then asked Nobles.
After Nobles replied that he worked for NBC, Smith shot back, “So, apparently you’ll never believe us.”
Nobles then tried to explain that his question had nothing to do with disbelief, but just trying to get the facts straight.
“You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6th, 2017, that demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son. But he wasn’t a political figure at that time,” Nobles said. “The first WhatsApp message you put up — how does that demonstrate that there was some sort of political influence being put over him if, at that time, he is not a political, not an elected official?”
Smith got defensive, saying he was “definitely not going to pinpoint one item,” only to have Nobles remind him, “You presented it! It was [the] first thing that you brought up.”
“So apparently you don’t agree with that,” Smith replied.
“It’s not that I don’t agree with that. I’m asking you to explain it,” Nobles insisted.
Smith decided to cut his losses.
“I’ll take the next question,” he said.
You can watch the exchange below.
Of course, people had thoughts, mostly about how many GOP politicians seem unwilling or unable to think critically.