“We’re going to run this like the Obama-Biden Administration,” he said of ethics requirements pertaining to government appointees’ family and friends to avoid the semblance of wrongdoing.
“No one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy,” he added. “And nobody has an office in this place. They always have access to Pop and Nana but nobody (will have an office).”
Biden shared an anecdote of previously rejecting personal benefits that could have been paid by the government, professing his commitment to steering clear of impropriety.
“I remember years ago an accountant said, ‘You know, you can charge (the Senate) part of the gas you use in the vehicle at your home.’ And I said, ‘No,’ ” Biden said. “Here’s how I look at it: The foul line is 15 feet away from the basket. Never get me closer than 17 feet, because it really is a matter of the public trust.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday maintained that Biden is “committed to ensuring we have the most ethically vigorous administration in history” but declined to detail any recourse taken in the wake of the ad, saying, “I’m not going to get into private conversations between the President and his family members.”
The White House’s stated policy of not permitting the use of Biden’s name for commercial activity stands in contrast to Trump’s frequent use of the trappings of office to promote his own business interests, setting up the appearance of numerous conflicts of interest. Additionally, several of Trump’s family members served as his advisers, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Biden also discussed Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate during the interview published Wednesday, predicting that not enough Republicans would support impeachment to convict the former President but expressing support for the process as a necessary Senate duty.
“He was impeached by the House, and it has to move forward; otherwise it makes a mockery of the system,” Biden said of Trump. “It’s probably not likely to get 17 Republicans to change their view and convict on impeachment, but I think it’s important that there be certain basic standards.”
He added, “I’m not looking for any retribution. My job is to try to heal the country and move us forward, because I think we have so many opportunities as a country.”
He told CNN he believed the outcome would be different if Trump had six months left in his term but that he didn’t think 17 Republican senators would vote to convict the former President.
“The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn’t changed that much,” Biden said to CNN.
CNN’s Donald Judd, Kaitlan Collins, Chandelis Duster and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.