White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday defended Hunter Biden’s decision to meet with potential buyers of his art amid ethical concerns related to sales.
The president’s son is scheduled to attend a private event with potential art buyers in Los Angeles and a larger exhibition in New York later this year, according to a report by CBS News.
Biden’s paintings could fetch as much as $ 500,000, analysts say, causing alarms among ethicists and others.
But Ms Psaki defended the arrangement at a press conference at the White House on Thursday, saying the president’s son will not participate in negotiating the sales.
“I think we have established a system that we believe has adequate safeguards,” he said. “We believe that Hunter Biden, like any son of a president, should be able to pursue his professions and his passions.”
Under guidelines set by the White House, the names of the buyers will remain a secret even from Biden himself. Ms Psaki said that will avoid the possibility of buyers trying to influence management by overpaying for the artwork.
“We will not know who they are, so there is no setting where they can exert influence,” he said.
But when asked why the White House would not only publish the names of the buyers to increase transparency, Psaki repeated that neither the White House nor Hunter Biden will know who the buyers are.
He also declined to say whether the agreement to protect the identities of the buyers is in writing.
“I can see if there is writing, but I think it’s pretty clear what the deal is, so I’m not sure it’s more complicated than that.” she said.