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Donald Trump, his family and supporters hoped their attacks on Hunter Biden would distract Joe Biden rather than convince people not to vote for him, the president’s son said in an interview on Friday, “whether it ended up in some horrible death, or whatever was their intention”.

The author of the memoir Beautiful Things was speaking to the New Abnormal, a Daily Beast podcast. He discussed his struggles with addiction and attempts to find dirt to use against his father which resulted in Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

Host Molly Jong-Fast asked: “Do you think they did it because they wanted you to kill yourself?”

Biden said: “There literally is nothing more important to my dad than his family, and if they could, whether it ended up in some horrible death or whatever was their intention, I think they thought they would be able to distract my dad enough that he wouldn’t be able to focus on the campaign. And they had the exact opposite effect.”

Jong-Fast also asked Biden about his dealings with energy companies in Ukraine and China, the subject of Trump’s attacks