One of the unfortunate aspects of modern politics is that politicians’ children get dragged through the mud. And this happened recently when President Donald Trump alleged that Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was dishonorably discharged from the Navy.
But is there any truth to this claim? And what do we really know about Hunter Biden’s military service? Here, we have uncovered the secret history of Hunter Biden’s military career.
Trump accuses Hunter Biden
Where did the rumors about Hunter’s dishonorable discharge come from? They came directly from President Donald Trump. During the September 29 presidential debate, Trump came out swinging against Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
Biden had been criticizing some of Trump’s statements about soldiers, including an article from The Atlantic that made a serious allegation. Allegedly, Trump said that soldiers who had died were “losers and suckers.”
Biden pointed out that his deceased son Beau, who had honorably served in the National Guard and fought in Iraq, was not a loser but a hero. In response, Trump said, “I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military… he was dishonorably discharged.”
But it turns out the truth is more complicated than that.
Why was Hunter Biden discharged from the Navy Reserve?
Was Hunter Biden dishonorably discharged from the Navy Reserve? The short answer is “no.” The longer answer, though, does paint a dim picture of Hunter, especially in comparison to his brother Beau.
Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve, but it was not a dishonorable discharge. Instead, it was an administrative discharge, and it occurred in February 2014. The discharge came after Hunter tested positive for cocaine on a drug test in June 2013.
Obviously, getting discharged for drug use is a bad look. But, an actual dishonorable discharge is for “reprehensible” acts. Drug use does not qualify for a dishonorable discharge.
Joe Biden defends his son Hunter
How did Joe Biden respond to Donald Trump’s false allegations? Just as Trump came out swinging, Biden stepped up to defend his son.
He began by saying, “I’m proud of my son.” And he continued by pointing out that Hunter confronted and overcame his problems with addiction.
While such a defense may be soft-spoken, Biden seemed content with the world getting a live demonstration of how Trump feels about certain members of the military.
Did Hunter Biden get special treatment in the Navy Reserve?
Hunter Biden was not dishonorably discharged from the Navy Reserve. However, he has a very odd military career, starting with the surprising fact that he didn’t join the service until he was 43 years old.
Hunter joined the Navy Reserve as an ensign at the age of 43. Most sailors join up when they are younger, so Hunter joining in his 40s raised a few eyebrows. And some felt he got a commission specifically because of his father’s political connections.
However, Navy spokesman Commander Perry says otherwise. He verified (via USA Today) that Joe Biden’s influence had nothing to do with Hunter’s service. And he continued, “All candidates were considered based on the merits of their application, and Mr. Biden met the qualifications for commission.”
Hunter Biden and his special waivers
While he met the other qualifications to join the Navy Reserve, Hunter couldn’t join right away. He had to receive two special waivers before he could become an ensign.
The first waiver had to do with his age. The Navy typically doesn’t recruit someone as old as 43. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Hunter had to get a special waiver to get into the Navy Reserve despite his age.
He received a second waiver, though, that turned out to be a sign of things to come. The second waiver allowed him to join despite a problematic history with drugs.
RELATED: The Unknown Truth Of Ashley Biden
Hunter Biden’s history of drug use
Sadly, Hunter Biden’s experience with drugs was not a one-time thing. He has actually had a lifetime struggle with both drugs and alcohol. He has been in and out of rehab programs since 2003, and had multiple periods of sobriety followed by relapses.
His drug problem started early on. Back when he was an undergraduate student at Georgetown, he regularly used cocaine. He told the New Yorker about a morbidly funny incident where a drug dealer gave him crack instead and he didn’t know how to use it.
“I didn’t have a stem, I didn’t have a pipe.” He even tried to smoke it via cigarette, but without much success. “It didn’t have much of an effect,” he said.
However, it may have had more of an effect than he realized. Hunter’s cocaine use continued well into adulthood, getting him kicked out of the Navy despite his special waiver. According to ABC News, two years later, he was held at gunpoint while trying to buy crack in Las Vegas. And a year after that, police found a crack pipe in his rental car following a car accident.
Hunter Biden’s drug defense
It seems pretty cut and dry that Hunter Biden had extensive drug problems both before his military service and afterward. But Hunter claimed that he did not knowingly do cocaine when his drug test results came back positive from the Navy Reserve in June 2013.
According to Hunter (via Washington Examiner), he stopped in a bar near the White House on his first weekend after joining the Navy Reserve in May 2013. There, he accepted a cigarette from some men from South Africa.
He said it made him feel “amped up” and eventually “incredibly exhausted.” He later believed, when his drug test turned up positive for cocaine, that the cigarette was laced with cocaine. Nonetheless, given his documented history of drug abuse and addiction, he realized that this defense would not be sufficient. Indeed, he was discharged.
Hunter Biden takes responsibility
The cocaine use that led to his discharge may or may not have been Hunter Biden’s fault. Nonetheless, he took responsibility for his actions in a very gracious statement.
He said (via CNN), “It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”