White House press secretary Jen Psaki laughably claimed on Monday that the Biden administration has higher ethics standards than any other presidential administration ever.
“Let me say first that we have the highest ethical standards of any administration in history,” Psaki said.
“A number of ethics officials have conveyed that and we’re proud of that. We’ve also staffed up at an unprecedented pace and this is the most diverse administration in American history. So we certainly expect that everyone will abide by those high ethics standards. It applies in how we operate it also applies in how hiring is done.”
Psaki was responding to criticism of a fury of family hires within the Biden administration – including Psaki’s own sister who was appointed a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services in March.
Psaki did acknowledge that her sister was hired by the administration in a tweet last week, saying that Stephanie Psaki “is more qualified than I am to be here.”
Other Biden officials whose family members got gigs with the administration include National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, whose wife, brother and sister-in-law all work for the Justice Department, State Department, and Department of Health and Human Services, respectively.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s wife Evan Ryan is the White House Cabinet Secretary.
Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s wife Monica Medina is the president’s nominee for assistant secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs.
Biden Senior Adviser Anita Dunn’s husband Bob Bauer is a co-chair of the president’s commission that’s investigating court-packing.
In many cases these family members of the most senior administration officials have significant experience, including time in the Obama administration for some. But for others that is not necessarily the case, according to critics.
Walter Shaub, former President Barack Obama’s director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, slammed the fact that J.J. Ricchetti got hired as a special assistant in the office of legislative affairs despite having less experience than others who were hired with the same title.
“Let’s play a game. See if you can guess which one of these special assistants at the treasury department has a daddy who’s one of the top aides to the president. See if you can guess the economic background of this privileged white boy,” Schaub tweeted.
J.J.’s father Steve Ricchetti is a counselor to the president.
Two other Ricchetti siblings have administration jobs too. Daniel Ricchetti is a senior adviser in the office of the under secretary of State for arms control and international security, and Shannon Ricchetti is deputy associate director at the office of the White House social secretary.
Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed’s daughter Julia Reed was recently hired as Biden’s day scheduler, according to Politico, which has also reported the hiring of other children of Biden officials.
Meanwhile, Schaub also blasted the Biden family over questionable ethics.
The former Obama Ethics director said Hunter Biden’s latest art venture has a “shameful and grifty feeling to it” and believes President Biden should “at a minimum” ask his son “not to go through with this auction” due to the suspicions of potential for pay-for-play corruption.
“The notion of a president’s son capitalizing on that relationship by selling art at obviously inflated prices and keeping the public in the dark about who’s funneling money to him has a shameful and grifty feel to it,” Shaub told Fox News this week.
Biden’s scandal-plagued son is working with Soho art dealer Georges Bergès, who reportedly has some ties to China. Bergès is expected to hold a private viewing for Hunter’s art in Los Angeles followed by an exhibition in New York later this year.
Bergès surmises Hunter’s pieces could range from 75,000 to $500,000, with others estimating they could go for even higher, selling for up to a million dollars due to his family name alone, prompting concerns of the potential for pay-for-play corruption.
Author: Richard Randall