Washington, D.C. - This morning, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) joined CNBC's Squawk Box and the Hugh Hewitt Radio show to discuss Ukraine, Joe Biden, and democratic attempts to impeach the President. Click here to listen to his Hugh Hewitt interview and click here to watch his CNBC interview. Excerpts of his comments can be found below.
On Hugh Hewitt
"...Let's take stock about the situation with Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. Hunter Biden was hired by a Ukrainian oligarch for $50,000 a month. A month! Not a year, a month-$50,000 a month. At a time when he was a known alcoholic and drug addict, who had no experience whatsoever in Ukraine or in the oil and gas industry. What do we think that oligarch believed he was buying? He was buying access and influence to the Biden family. And sure enough, there's Vice President Joe Biden on camera bragging and boasting about how he flew into Kiev and got all chesty and told Poroshenko, the president at the time, to fire the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden's patrons. And lo and behold, threatening to withhold a billion dollars of U.S. aid to Ukraine if they didn't fire the prosecutor who was investigating Hunter Biden's patrons. Now, maybe there's nothing there, Hugh. Maybe everything is on the up and up. But surely the American people deserve to know what exactly happened and that that investigation itself was tainted by corruption."
"The main thing he was being paid $50,000 a month to do was be the Vice President of the United States' son. Look, Hugh, there's a local angle to this as well, if you want to know a little bit about Hunter Biden's character. There is a young woman, in her twenties, in Arkansas, who has filed a paternity suit in Arkansas state court against Hunter Biden. And he is dodging process and has done so for months. He is literally hiding out from process servers so he doesn't have to submit to a DNA test. He claims that he's not the father of this child. If that's the case, why doesn't he just accept process and provide a DNA sample? But no, he is literally hiding out from those working for a young woman in Arkansas who is raising a child by herself after she's filed suit against Hunter Biden in Arkansas state court."
"...And I think most of your listeners know that even in America where we have the gold standards of the rule of law and anti-corruption investigations and practices, a lot of people would think that that means access and influence to the Vice President. Ukraine is not America. Ukraine has many troubles, and they are divided by rival factions that point the fingers at each other and try to win and gain and preserve influence with patrons not only in Ukraine, but around the world. And of course, there's no greater partner to have than the United States government in a place like Ukraine."
"...But at some point, if there's going to be hearings in Congress about President Trump conducting a routine diplomatic phone call, then we need to look at what kicked all this off, which is Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine, which by the way just scratches the surface of what Hunter Biden has done, or for that matter, Joe Biden's brother, James Biden."
"It's a little mystifying to me, and I think most Americans now that they've read the transcript of the president's call with the president of Ukraine, exactly what the Democrats are talking about. In fact, Nancy Pelosi said one of the grounds for the impeachment inquiry would be withholding information from Congress and the people. Well, the transcript has been released publicly. I, and members of the Intelligence Committee, have reviewed the whistleblower report. I believe it's going to be released publicly in the next few days-I don't see why it can't be with appropriate redactions for a few classified matters-and what's apparent is there is no quid pro quo that the president asked for anything in return for U.S. aid to Ukraine. It was a fairly straightforward, diplomatic conversation. Certainly, it's not what Joe Biden has boasted about doing. Joe Biden boasted, on television, about withholding American aid to Ukraine if Ukraine didn't fire the prosecutor that was looking into his son's company. Now let's just be clear here, a Ukrainian oligarch didn't find Hunter Biden's resume on Ziprecruiter.com and start paying him $50,000 because he's an expert in Ukrainian oil and gas. He did that because Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States."
"First, I think the president has reasonable concerns about Ukraine. Ukraine is riven by rival factions. Those factions point the finger at each other a lot. One thing the president wanted to know earlier this year was whether President Zelensky, a newcomer to Ukrainian politics, was going to be better than some of the past leaders of Ukraine, especially when it comes to combatting corruption. ... Joe Biden was the sitting Vice President of the United States, went to Ukraine, and demanded the firing of a prosecutor that was investigating his son's company, otherwise he was going to withhold a billion dollars in aid. He boasted about that. He bragged about that. That was under a previous Ukrainian administration. Now, with a new Ukrainian administration, the president wanted to know whether it was more trustworthy, whether it was going to take a more serious tack on corruption, and whether there were past actions that needed to be reopened. I'm not saying there's anything there, I'm saying these are reasonable questions when you look at the facts and that a sitting vice president's son was getting $50,000 a month. It's a common topic of conversation between our president and presidents of other nations when we're dealing with corruption, and especially with aid to those nations."