Biden angered, distracted by political attacks on his family: 'Impenetrable sadness'

Biden's aides reportedly know to be cautious around him if there's negative news about his family

President Biden reportedly becomes distracted and angry over his family struggles, which took center stage during Hunter Biden's trial, people close to the president told Axios. 

The president is often frustrated by attacks against his family, people familiar with the situation reportedly told the media outlet. Some aides have questioned what might have happened if Biden hadn't run for president at all, according to Axios.

Hunter Biden, who was found guilty on all counts in the criminal trial related to his purchase of a firearm on Tuesday, and his sister, Ashley Biden, struggled with addiction in 2019, ahead of their father's 2020 campaign announcement, according to the report. Ashley's rehab diary was stolen and posted online in 2020. 

A person close to Biden told Axios the president exhibits an "impenetrable sadness" over his children's struggles. 

President Biden and Hunter Biden

President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Monday, April 1, 2024. (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Biden's aides reportedly know to be cautious around him if there's negative news about members of his family, pushing the president to rely even more on the people he's known the longest. 

The president has reportedly said he feels guilty and blames his re-election campaign for Hunter's conviction.

"If I weren’t running for re-election, he would have gotten the plea deal," Biden reportedly told a person close to him earlier this month, Politico reported Tuesday. Hunter's plea deal fell apart in July 2023.

He also worries Hunter and Ashley might relapse, Axios reported. 

Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, revealed she had concerns about her brother running for president in her memoir. 

Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen Biden arrive at federal court

Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden walk outside the federal court as his trial on criminal gun charges continues, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 11, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier (Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen Biden arrive at federal court)


"I didn't want the family to go through it. I was worried the family couldn't go through it. I worried about Hunter. The grandkids. And Joe," she said in the memoir titled, "Growing Up Biden," Axios reported. "Part of me wanted to say to those urging him on, 'Look, he's done enough. Leave him alone.'"

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, though he isn't expected to receive the maximum penalty. The president has said he wouldn't pardon his son, but has not ruled out commuting his sentence. 

The president's son was found guilty of making false statements in the purchase of a gun, making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federally licensed gun dealer and possession of a gun by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

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