Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been discharged from the US Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the US Vice-President’s son was discharged earlier this year after failing a drug test in June 2013. A lawyer and former lobbyist, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy Reserve in 2013.
He applied for a commission into the reserve as a public affairs officer aged 42. Because of his age, Mr Biden needed a waiver. The Journal reported he needed a second waiver because of a drug-related charge when he was younger.
“It was the honour of my life to serve in the US Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” Hunter Biden said in a statement. “I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”
Vice-President Biden’s office declined to comment.
The Navy declined to confirm that Biden tested positive for cocaine use. Commander Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman, said that he had been selected for his commission in 2012, and discharged in February 2014. “Like other junior officers, the details of Ens. Biden’s discharge are not releasable under the Privacy Act,” he said.
Hunter Biden was one of seven applicants accepted in 2012 for a direct commission, which allows professionals to join the Navy. The applicants must complete medical and security screenings.
“This year, I’m looking forward to standing with our son, Hunter, when he is commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy,” Jill Biden said in 2012. “He follows in the footsteps of two grandfathers.”
Hunter Biden made news this year when he joined the board of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm. The announcement came shortly after Russia annexed Crimea, while Vice- President Biden was engaged in diplomatic talks there.
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