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Biden acknowledges 7th grandchild, and Republicans take jabs

President Biden publicly acknowledged Hunter Biden’s 4-year-old daughter, Navy, as his granddaughter, for the first time on Friday, and several Republican presidential candidates took jabs at his handling of the situation.

In a statement Friday, the president said he and the first lady “only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.” Navy Roberts was born to Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas woman who filed a paternity suit against Hunter Biden in 2019. A DNA test confirmed he is the father and he agreed to pay child support.

“Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of heir daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward,” the president said in the statement. “This is not a political issue, it’s a family matter. Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.”

The statement was first given to People Magazine. It followed criticism of the president, particularly from Republicans, for not acknowledging Hunter Biden’s youngest daughter as a grandchild. The president also has six older grandchildren.

“When you go and you talk about family values … it’s odd that he wouldn’t acknowledge one of his grandchildren,” GOP candidate Nikki Haley said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Another GOP contender, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, quipped at an Iowa political dinner Friday, “I want you to know I know how many grandchildren I have.”

Hunter Biden settled his child support case in Arkansas last month, reaching an agreement with the child’s mother after a long dispute. Hunter Biden previously agreed to pay $20,000 a month in child support, but it’s not clear what the new monthly amount is, as it’s redacted. The agreement does say Hunter Biden will give some of his paintings to his daughter for her to do with them as she pleases.

The president’s recognition comes after Hunter Biden earlier this week pleaded not guilty to two tax charges when a tentative plea agreement between his attorneys and federal prosecutors crumbled in court. The president and first lady have expressed support for their son as he seeks to rebuild his life from drug addiction, while declining to comment on his criminal charges directly.

What’s next for Hunter Biden, now that his plea deal is on hold?

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the day of Hunter Biden’s initial court appearance in Delaware that “the president, the first lady, they love their son and they support him as he continues to rebuild his life.”

—Weijia Jiang contributed to this report 

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