The only thing former President Donald Trump and a CNN panel can agree on is that Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, has a life ad career peppered with controversy. The recent announcement that he would be selling artwork for up to half a million dollars without any formal artistic training doesn’t look good on him or the White House. The entire operation has been described as a ‘sham’ with the sole purpose of businessmen or others purchasing the artwork for influence in the White House.
Trump ripped the artwork scam off as a “$500,000 bribe” during his Arizona rally on Saturday night and said he is trying to sell his father’s political influence for a hefty amount of money. Trump has been pulling bigger crowds at his rallies after leaving office than President Joe Biden has since taking office. You know, the person who got the most votes in the history of the world?
The former president not only pointed out Biden’s small crowd sizes on the stage but how unprofessional Hunter Biden’s “artistry” is. As a person who builds grand buildings and finds good painters for his hotels, Trump said that Hunter Biden “is not it.” He also pointed out what would happen if his kids, who’ve never painted before, tried to sell artwork for half a million dollars. “Could you imagine if my kids did that?” Trump asked.
He went on to say that the White House is trying to justify it by making the sellers anonymous and the sales “nontransparent.” Trump said they should actually make it transparent but they won’t because it is “100%” a bribe.
“You know you have good painters for $250 you can have a portrait done on Central Park guys with pencils. They do so incredible. They’re geniuses. They’re just geniuses. You go to Central Park, and they have all these artists lined up. You negotiate a deal. They’ll do it for $250. They’re unbelievably talented. Some of them are beyond belief what they can do in a short period of time. Hunter Biden is getting $500,000. It’s a bribe,” Trump said.
New York Magazine’s Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz also asked people what would happen if Donald Trump Jr made watercolor artwork like Hunter Biden and sold them between $75,000 and $500,000 apiece.
“Imagine all the foreign agents, fishy businessmen, lobbyists, politicos buying the work & backroom deals. The potential for conflict of interest is enormous & dangerous. Do what Republican war-monger George W. Bush did. Make your work; show it at a non-profit; no sales,” Saltz said.
Ben Davis, Artnet News’s National Art Critic, also gave his negative thoughts on Hunter’s art. He called out Hunter’s art dealer George Berges and said that his top media results were nothing to quite speak about. He said Berges was pitching himself as some kind of guru who shaped Hunter Biden from being a “hobbyist” into a full-time artist. Berges still maintains “strong ties” to China and was even sued for fraud and breach of contract in 2016.
“Media interest in Hunter Biden’s art has now gone supernova because the White House was compelled to issue official ethics guidelines on his new career. Here’s a better idea: Don’t sell the artwork,” Davis said.
Even a recent CNN panel reacted to Hunter Biden’s art plans and shared that it could easily become an “ethics problem” in the administration. CNN’s Abby Phillip points out that she’s no art critic but even Pulitzer-prize winning art critics are calling Hunter Biden’s work “cafe art.” They said it is generally something you wouldn’t spend more than $1,000 on but because he’s the president’s son they can slap any price they want on it.
“Obviously, this is a problem, an ethical problem, of optics and from a practical perspective. Why even do this?” Philip asked.
CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melania Zanona agreed that it’s a huge optics problem and makes it more challenging to art when that sort of value is assigned. While the White House tries to come up with an arrangement to look better, there is no such thing as a “blind sale” when you’re purchasing from the president’s son.
You know things are bad when even CNN realizes that the Biden family is corrupt. But this isn’t an “optic” issue by the White House. It’s a clear and present conflict of interest and money laundering for political influence. I’m sure Hunter Biden won’t be having any art shows when his dad is no longer in Office.