“I’d refer to the gallerist for questions,” huffed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last week in non-answer to reporters asking about Hunter Biden’s star-studded Los Angeles art show. Meaning: President Joe Biden can’t bother to make his son observe basic ethical rules.
Though Hunter’s dealer seems worried: The next day, he pushed back the Gotham debut. Maybe he was responding to new signs suggesting taxpayers may be helping foot the bill for the first son’s latest grift.
For months, the White House claimed that because Manhattan art broker Georges Bergès promised not to reveal the identities of those who pony up the $75,000 to $500,000 asking prices for works by the “self-taught” painter, collectors can’t possibly buy the prez’s influence. But his LA opening proved the preposterousness of that:. A couple hundred guests nibbled finger foods and quaffed vino alongside such celebs as musician Moby, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Eric Garcetti, LA mayor and the prez’s pick for ambassador to India.
“Should we expect to see more people who seek jobs in this administration attending events like this in the future?” CBS News Radio’s Steven Portnoy asked Psaki Wednesday.
“Well, to be clear, we’ve spoken to the arrangement that is run by the gallerist and Hunter Biden’s representatives that the White House provided suggestions for. I’d refer to the gallerist for questions about the event as well as the representatives of Mr. Garcetti in terms of his attendance,” Psaki blustered.
Portnoy noted, “This is exactly what ethicists said they were worried about.”
Psaki played dumb: “What is, specifically? That he reportedly attended an event?” And, answering similar questions: “I’d point you to the gallerist on the specifics of the restrictions that were put in place,” Psaki said.
As Mother Jones pointed out, the potential patrons weren’t even looking at originals, just prints. Still, at least five sold before the show for $75K each, The Post learned, while Bergès has postponed the planned October opening in his Soho gallery to spring and lawyers will be “vetting” attendees.
Bergès’ gallery has just two employees, but he’s received $500,000 in Small Business Administration COVID “disaster assistance loans,” far more than the 100-plus other galleries in that congressional district — $350,000 of it OK’d after his client’s dad took office. And he wouldn’t answer The Post’s questions on whether the Bidens helped him secure the cash and if Hunter has benefited from it.
We look forward to seeing the Bidens’ enablers in the press and politics try to pretend this stench is just more “Russian disinformation.”