Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was reportedly discharged from the Navy in February after testing positive for cocaine, people familiar with the matter claim.
In a statement issued Thursday, Biden doesn’t say why he was discharged. He says he’s embarrassed that his actions led to his discharge and that he respects the Navy’s decision.
“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” Hunter Biden said in a statement distributed through his lawyer. “I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”
Hunter Biden, 44, a managing partner at an investment company and a trained lawyer, had been commissioned as a part-time ensign in the Navy Reserve. Biden decided to pursue military service later in life, beginning the direct-commission process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve in 2012.
Due to his age at the time, 43, he required a waiver to join the Navy and another waiver because of a drug-related incident when he was younger according to people familiar with the matter. Military officials said that drug waivers aren’t uncommon.
In January 2013, Joe Biden joked about his son’s decision to pursue military service at the age 42.
“We have a lot of bad judgment in my family,” the vice president said at the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball.
The U.S. official said the Navy never had contact with the vice president’s office over the issue, and that standard procedure for failed drug tests is administrative discharge. The vice president’s office didn’t comment on the report.
Hunter Biden is the younger of Biden’s two sons. His older brother, Beau Biden, is Delaware’s attorney general and a major in the Delaware Army National Guard. He was deployed for a year in Iraq.
The vice president’s spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff, has said that Biden’s son is a private citizen and a lawyer, and that Joe Biden “does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”