Trump team wouldn't bash Hunter Biden over addiction, new book says

 December 16, 2023

Former President Donald Trump's press secretary during the 2020 presidential campaign went after Hunter Biden at times for his alleged ties to money laundering, but the campaign stayed away from using Biden's personal addictions as campaign fodder, he explained in a new book about his life. 

“I never sought to attack Hunter for things directly related to his addiction, or for his condition of being an addict,” Tim Murtaugh said about his actions during the 2020 campaign.

He revealed the reason why in the book, Swing Hard in Case You Hit It: Murtaugh has dealt with addiction himself.

Murtaugh is an alcoholic with eight years of sobriety, he said.

Clear distinction

He made a clear distinction when serving in Trump's administration between Biden's addictions and illegal behavior that could have involved his father.

“I knew what it was like to be controlled by a substance, and I wanted to stay away from bashing him for that," he explained. "But anything involving foreign payments that could have involved his father were totally in bounds.”

That distinction could only have helped Trump as President Joe Biden's administration tried repeatedly to gain pity for Biden using his addiction.

That crutch was ripped away from the Biden family, since no one in Trump's campaign was seeking to use it against either Biden.

Taking control

Murtaugh said that media operatives tried to use his own addiction to control his reporting, but that he was able to argue that was unfair because he hadn't done so with Biden.

The book is another attempt to take control of the narrative.

"Political operators have repeatedly tried to peddle stories to reporters about my alcoholic past, and now I’ve taken away their power," he said.

Murtaugh said he had arrests in his past for drunk driving, but that he had paid for those occurrences.

Biden, on the other hand, seemed until recently to be getting away with his crimes (mostly unrelated to his drug use, other than the gun charges).

Biden was just indicted on three gun charges and nine tax-related charges after a sweetheart plea deal that could have kept him entirely out of jail and given him immunity for any future charges fell apart.

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