White House press secretary Jen Psaki talked up the Biden administration’s ethics policies on Friday, as she faced questions from reporters about how the new president’s family could capitalize on his move into the Oval Office.
One of President Joe Biden’s younger brothers, Frank Biden, has gotten attention after a law firm that employs him as a senior adviser ran an ad in a Florida newspaper last week that touted the two brothers’ relationship.
“The two Biden brothers have long held a commitment to pushing environmental issues to the forefront,” the ad read in part, according to a CNBC report.
Joe Biden warned his younger brother about potential business dealings during the 2020 campaign, according to a Politico report on Thursday. That reported quoted him as saying, “For Christ’s sake, watch yourself.”
Psaki on Friday said she’s “not going to get into private conversations between the president and his family members,” but then promised limits on the use of his name and image.
“The president is committed to ensuring we have the most ethically vigorous administration in history, and that includes restrictions on how his image can be used, and that is something that he’s conveyed publicly and privately,” she said.
“It’s the White House’s policy that the president’s name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest … in any way that could reasonably be understood to imply his endorsement or support,” the spokeswoman added.
The latest questions about Biden’s family members potentially seeing benefits from their ties to him come after former President Donald Trump drew flak for moves such as giving White House jobs to his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. Trump also faced lawsuits alleging he had illegally profited from his presidency. The Supreme Court dismissed the litigation on Monday, saying the matter was now moot.
Psaki said Friday that the Biden administration has made the commitment that members of the president’s family won’t serve in the administration, and “that continues to be the commitment.” Reports that the president’s sister, political strategist Valerie Biden Owens, was getting an office in the West Wing “were not accurate,” Psaki also said.
First daughter Ashley Biden said last week that she won’t be working in her father’s administration, and she defended her brother, Hunter Biden, who has been accused of profiting off his political connections. The Justice Department has been investigating Hunter Biden’s finances, including probing some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions. The president’s other younger brother, James Biden, also previously has faced scrutiny for his business dealings.