Former White House stenographer Mike McCormick spent six years (2011-2017) at then-Vice President Joe Biden’s side as he met with world leaders, delivered speeches and interacted with members of the news media, an experience that provided him with both insider knowledge and a unique perspective.
In an interview with The Daily Mail this week, McCormick said that just three days after Hunter Biden joined Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Ltd (on April 18, 2014), then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine to push for fracking and increased energy production.
McCormick, now an independent journalist who posts on Substack, was on board the April 21, 2014 Air Force 2 flight and said that a senior Biden advisor “briefed reporters on the plane that the VP was pushing medium- and long-term strategies to boost conventional gas production, and also to begin to take advantage of the unconventional gas reserves that are in Ukraine.”
The senior official’s name? Jake Sullivan, Biden’s current National Security Advisor.
So much for Biden having no knowledge of or involvement with his son’s overseas business dealings.
The Mail reported that Biden’s “push for greater energy production” was highly profitable for Burisma. “According to Burisma’s website, it ramped up production from 100 million cubic meters in 2010 to 1.3 billion cubic meters in 2018 – when it generated revenues of at least $400 million, according to a Reuters estimate.”
McCormick said his “job was to sit in the back with journalists, with a tape recorder and microphone in case there was a statement to the press.”
McCormick told the Mail, “Sullivan came to the back and did a briefing as a ‘senior administration official.’ They wanted to publicize what he said, they weren’t afraid of it. But as a senior administration official, so no name attached to it. … He talked about what Joe was going to do with energy security for Ukraine.”
The White House transcript of the briefing can be viewed here.
According to the report, stories about the briefing appeared in the press at the time (including NPR and Reuters), with Sullivan being identified only as an anonymous senior administration official.
“At the time, it sounded fine. No one on the plane knew that Hunter had already signed up to be with Burisma,” McCormick explained. “That wouldn’t be announced publicly for another three weeks in mid-May.”
He added, “Now that I’ve looked in Hunter’s laptop, I realize that Sullivan was telling the press we’re going to be helping Ukraine’s fracking industry. Burisma Holdings was one of the only companies licensed to do fracking in Ukraine. And Joe Biden would have known that.”
The Mail notes that Biden’s trip to Ukraine was announced on April 12, 2014. This coincides with the period immediately preceding Hunter Biden’s and longtime business partner Devon Archer’s appointments to Burisma’s board of directors. Archer was named to the Burisma board on April 22, 2014, the day after VP Biden’s arrival in Ukraine.
On April 22, according to the Mail, Hunter Biden emailed Archer a clip from a press report “quoting Joe Biden talking about the need for Ukraine to increase its gas production, and an offer of U.S. assistance to do so.”
Archer responded, “We need to make sure this rag tag temporary Government in the Ukraine understands the value of Burisma to its very existence.”
Hunter Biden replied, “You should send to Vadim [Pozharsky, a Burisma executive] – makes it look like we are adding value.”
If this report is any indication, Burisma’s appointment of Hunter Biden to its board paid immediate dividends. And it is just one more story that flies in the face of President Biden’s repeated denials of involvement in his son’s overseas business dealings.