On day five of his “No Malarkey” campaign tour through Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with an elderly man who accused him of “selling access to the president.” A visibly angry Biden responded by calling the voter a “damned liar.” The full exchange was posted to Twitter by ABC News campaign correspondent Molly Nagle.
The voter accused Biden of having sent his son Hunter Biden to Ukraine to “work for a gas company… in order to get access to the office, to the president. You’re selling access to the president.”
But Biden quickly cut the man off.
“You’re a damned liar, man,” Biden said. “That’s not true. And no one has ever said that.”
The voter then replied, “I see it on the TV. That’s all I got to do is watch TV.”
The voter was referring to Hunter being hired to sit on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company, in 2014. The younger Biden was paid $50,000 per month for his services, despite having no prior experience in the natural gas or energy industries.
But as an analysis by Vox.com made clear, then-Vice President Biden was not involved in helping his son obtain the Burisma position. There have been no public allegations that he “sent” Hunter to Ukraine in order to facilitate access to then-President Barack Obama.
WATCH: A tense exchange with a voter at @JoeBiden’s event in New Hampton, IA this morning, where a voter started out by telling Biden he had two problems with him: he was too old, and his son’s work in Ukraine pic.twitter.com/ok7m0ShFPd— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) December 5, 2019
The younger Biden’s involvement with Burisma, however, has played a major role in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
According to evidence presented in a 300-page impeachment report issued Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee, Trump attempted to force the government of Ukraine to investigate allegations that the former vice president attempted to stop Ukraine from prosecuting the company.
Long after the top Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had wrapped up his investigation of Burisma, Biden led an international effort to remove Shokin from his position, due to the prosecutor’s reputation for corruption.
But the Iowa voter at Biden’s Thursday campaign appearance did not stop at his baseless allegation that Biden was “selling access” to Obama. He also accused the 77-year-old Biden of being too old to run for the presidency.
Biden responded by challenging the man, who appeared to be in his 60s or 70s, to a push-up contest, according to an account by The Hill.
The man then told Biden that he wouldn’t vote for him.
“You’re too old to vote for me!” the former vice president shot back.