Tony Hsieh: Former boss of Zappos and Las Vegas entrepreneur dies after house fire | US News

Tony Hsieh, the retired boss of fashion brand Zappos who spent years helping develop downtown Las Vegas, has died at the age of 46.

He died several days after suffering injuries in a house fire in New London, Connecticut, surrounded by his family.

A fire chief told US media that firefighters were called to the property at around 3.30am (8.30am GMT) on Friday after reports of a man trapped in a part of a house. He added they had to force their way in and remove the victim, perform CPR and then take him to hospital.

Mr Hsieh donated millions to help regenerate Las Vegas

Mr Hsieh, a Harvard graduate, joined Zappos, then called ShoeSite, in 1999, and stayed with the brand for 20 years, even after its $1.2bn (£880m) sale to Amazon in 2009.

The company shared a tribute following the announcement of his death, saying: “The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being.

“His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”

As well as running the fashion firm, Mr Hsieh was known for his work in redeveloping downtown Las Vegas, stumping up $350m for a regeneration project in the city in 2013, shortly after moving his company’s headquarters there.

The money he pledged helped start-ups, restaurants and other businesses get off the ground, in an effort to transform a once-neglected part of the city.

He also wrote a book called Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion And Purpose in 2010, scoring him a place at the top of the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller lists.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, led the tributes on social media, saying: “Celebrating the life while mourning the loss of my dear friend Tony Hsieh.

“Tony was a deeply original thinker always challenging me to reject conformity & follow my heart. Tony was driven by the mission of delivering happiness & brought joy to all who knew him. Rest In Peace Tony”

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos added his condolences on Instagram, saying: “The world lost you way too soon. Your curiosity, vision, and relentless focus on customers leave an indelible mark. You will be missed by so many, Tony. Rest In Peace.”

Pro skater Tony Hawk was also among those sharing memories of Mr Hsieh, writing: “A beautiful tribute to a true pioneer. Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.

“And he was very, very cool.”

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Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has died at 46

Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos

Tony Hsieh, the retired CEO of Las Vegas-based online shoe retailer who spent years working to transform the city’s downtown area, has died. He was 46.

Hsieh was with family when he died Friday, according to a statement from DTP Companies, which he founded. Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Fazio said Hsieh passed away in Connecticut, KLAS-TV reported.

Puoy Premsrirut, a lawyer for Hsieh, told news outlets that Hsieh had been injured in a house fire while visiting Connecticut. Additional details weren’t immediately released. An official cause of death wasn’t announced.

“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world,” a DTP Companies statement said. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.”

Hsieh recently retired from Zappos after 20 years leading the company. The online shoe retailer shared a tribute on social media late Friday.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” the statement said. “His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”

Hsieh was a Harvard University graduate who joined the company — then called — in 1999. Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, but Hsieh had remained with the company until his retirement.

For years, he also worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. The same year he moved Zappos’ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building.

“Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night. “Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

A wave of tributes poured out on social media as news of Hsieh’s death spread.

“Tony Hsieh might be the most original thinker I’ve ever been friends with,” former venture investor Chris Sacca tweeted. “He questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way. He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy.”

Skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk added, “Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.”

“A truly original thinker, a brilliant entrepreneur, and a kind-hearted and generous friend to so many,” tweeted entrepreneur Max Levchin.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Tony Hsieh’s last name.

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Tony Blinken nominated by Joe Biden for Secretary of State

It signaled the president-elect’s intention to fill his cabinet with officials who served alongside him in Barack Obama’s administration.

Mr Obama said: “You’re seeing a team develop that I have great confidence in.”

The former president called Mr Blinken “outstanding, smart, gracious, a skilled diplomat, well regarded around the world.”

However, Mr Biden’s choice of Mr Blinken as chief diplomat was also an indication of how starkly different his view of post-Brexit Britain may be to that of Donald Trump.

Mr Blinken is a fluent French speaker who spent some of his formative intellectual years living in Paris.

He offered his assessment of Brexit on a podcast, hosted by fellow Obama administration alumni, in March last year.

At the time, Theresa May was trying to force her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament.

“This is not just the dog that caught the car,” Mr Blinken said. “This is the dog that caught the car, and the car goes into reverse, and runs over the dog. And it’s a total mess.

“It’s awful tough to walk that line between interfering in someone else’s politics, but also standing up for your own interests, and our interest clearly would have been keeping Britain in.”


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The ghost of Tony Abbott paralyses Canberra on climate action

The incoming American leader intends committing the US to a policy of zero net-carbon emissions by 2050. This is a policy that Morrison dare not endorse, or even speak. Instead, he told reporters: “I raised with the President-elect the similarity between the President-elect’s comments and policies regarding emissions reduction and technologies that are needed to achieve that and we look forward to working on those issues.”


So he emphasises the common ground – the obvious fact that all countries need new energy technology to cut carbon emissions. And avoids the difference – that Biden has a long-term target, and Australia does not. The Biden office issued a readout saying the pair discussed “common challenges” including “confronting climate change”.

This is all fine within the Australia-US relationship. It’s just sad. The US was the wayward nation. Under Donald Trump it withdrew from the Paris climate accord and wantonly removed a host of environmental protections.

Australia, of course, has remained committed to Paris. And the Morrison government quietly has supported billions of dollars’ worth of new renewable investments in the states, granted major project status to the $22 billion Sun Cable project to export solar power from the Northern Territory under the ocean to Singapore, invested in hydrogen technology, and much more.

But rather than being able to welcome home the prodigal son of the global climate effort in a full-throated greeting to post-Trump America, Morrison is suddenly mute when it comes to the forbidden words. It’s just sad that a national leader can’t speak the taboo words of targets or deadlines in an area of policy on which the fate of his country depends.


The government’s climate scientists reported this week that Australia has warmed an average of 1.44 degrees since 1910. And continues to warm. “In terms of national daily average maximum temperatures, there were 33 days that exceeded 39C in 2019.”

For perspective, they added, that’s “more than the number observed from 1960 to 2018 combined”. In that 58-year span there were only 24 days that hot. In scrupulously neutral language, the report makes plain that last year, which seemed such an outlier with such intense and wide-ranging fires, will become a normal year. Unless the trend is interrupted.

The State of the Climate report, issued every two years, compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, says southeast Australia has lost 12 per cent of its annual April-October rainfall since the late 1990s. And when rain does come, it’s in more intense bursts. And we know what that means. Longer droughts and bigger floods.

Australia’s carbon emissions are falling. It’s just that, on the current trajectory, we won’t hit net zero for another four centuries. Or, more precisely, until 2393, as the Climate Council researcher Tim Baxter told my colleague Mike Foley.

It’s not that Morrison is hostile to the concept of going carbon neutral. When asked, he agrees that he would like Australia to hit net-zero emissions “as quickly as possible”. He just won’t put a date to it, and says it’d be dishonest to do so without being able to specify the cost to the economy.

This runs contrary to two iron rules of politics. One is that the more distant the date, the more likely the commitment, and 2050 is 30 years hence. Morrison will be 82, assuming he lives that long and the planet is still habitable. He’d be long retired and unaccountable.

The other iron rule is to emphasise the benefits of a policy you support, and dissemble on the costs. For instance, the government is raising hundreds of billions of dollars in fresh Commonwealth debt in the bond market. It boasts about how it’s supporting the economy today. And what costs will Australia’s next generation pay to carry and repay that debt? Crickets.

All Australia’s most important trading partners have now announced a target of net zero around mid-century. China is promising net zero by 2060. The others – including the US, Japan, South Korea, Britain, Germany, France, Canada, NZ – are aiming for 2050.

Morrison’s obduracy is even more bizarre when you realise that every state and territory in the Commonwealth has pledged to get to net zero by 2050. The real reason Morrison dare not break the taboo? Two words: Tony Abbott.


Recall that John Howard and Kevin Rudd reached a broad bipartisan agreement in 2007. They converged on the idea of an emissions trading scheme. This remained the consensus under Liberal leaders Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull. Until Abbott decided to break ranks, demonise the policy and lead a conservative insurrection against Turnbull.

Under the Abbott rule, it is illegitimate for politicians to commit to a carbon-cutting target. Even his own. As prime minister Abbott committed Australia to its Paris target. But once he’d been unseated by Turnbull, Abbott started campaigning against his own target.

That approach enabled him to bring down Turnbull, but also Julia Gillard. It was instrumental to his political successes.

It also was instrumental in Australia’s national failures. Today Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world, uncompetitive power-intensive industries such as aluminium, an electricity grid groaning under the strain of merely keeping the lights on during summer, and the oncoming collapse of a habitable planet.

No matter the need or the urgency. Morrison knows that to campaign openly, ambitiously, is to risk another conservative insurrection from his own Coalition. Instead he sticks to the safe ground of talking up new technology and more investment.

And then there’s Labor. The party’s spokesman on resources, Joel Fitzgibbon, had planned to announce his retirement from the opposition frontbench on December 7 under an internal deal in the NSW right faction. He decided to accelerate the plan and go out in a blaze of angry dissent instead.

Since last year’s federal election he’d made a point of talking up coal mining. There’s a lot of it in his NSW seat of Hunter Valley. He suffered a big swing against him at the 2019 election and blamed Labor’s climate activists for being disdainful of coal mining and Labor’s traditional blue-collar base.

An inconvenient fact? Two adjacent Labor-held seats, also heavy with coal mining, suffered much smaller swings at the same election. But rather than look within, Fitzgibbon chose to blame his party. He also relished the easy publicity that comes with attacking your own team.

When he saw the election of Joe Biden in the US, he fretted that this would animate Labor’s climate activism. On Monday he gave a half-dozen media interviews to try to head this off.


This frustrated his colleagues mightily. Anthony Albanese’s opening salvo against Scott Morrison in Monday’s question time was to point out that 70 countries including Biden’s America were committing to net-zero targets by 2050: “Why is the Prime Minister leaving Australia behind by refusing to?”

This was planned as a Labor theme for the week. Fitzgibbon’s high-profile dissent within Labor sabotaged that effort and opened Labor to attack from the government. And when Albanese chided Fitzgibbon at Monday evening’s shadow cabinet meeting, it erupted into an angry exchange. Without a discussion of the actual policy. Fitzgibbon resigned from the front bench the next morning. Three weeks early. He plans to continue his destabilising campaign of criticism.

Is he planning a tilt at the leadership? He doesn’t have leadership ambitions, which is just as well because he certainly doesn’t have the numbers. Most of his party is furious at his self-indulgence.

And he’d already told colleagues he wasn’t planning to contest the next election in any case. “He’s just striking a pose,” Albanese has told his colleagues. The working hypothesis is that he’s auditioning for a post-parliamentary job in the fossil fuels sector.

Once again, Labor is acting out the Abbott rule – Fitzgibbon by noisily campaigning against climate activism, and Labor as a whole by withholding its climate policy. Still shaken by its loss last year, Labor is postponing announcements of most of its policy plans across the board.

NSW announced a new $32 billion renewable energy investment plan this week. Woolworths committed to powering all its stores with solar. And Australia’s richest entrepreneur, Andrew Forrest, hatched a plan to make his company the world’s biggest renewable energy supplier. While in Canberra, government and opposition remain twitching in fearful spasms at the ghost of Tony Abbott. Pathetic but true.

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Chris Keane, Rodney Crute,Lynne Poleson, Shane Nunan, David Calvey, Tony DeGiovanni, Barry Galbraith

Rodney Crute of Hunters Hill has often heard the saying “never buy a car made on Friday” (C8). “I just wonder how is it possible to determine on what day a car is made, let alone on a Friday. And aren’t cars made over a period of days?”

An answer to Rodney’s question, at least in part, from Chris Keane of Seattle (US), who recently took his somewhat ancient van in for a service. “The mechanic was amazed and extremely dubious when I mentioned that I rarely have problems with it — after hundreds of thousands of miles it’s still running like a champ. He noted the VIN, looked it up in some database he had and, with a triumphant smile, told me, “Yes, it was built on a Wednesday (C8). Congratulations!'”

Further to “no truths, just different ways of looking at things”, (C8) Lynne Poleson of Kingsford told her “six-year-old grandson Jack that I am not old, I’ve just been young for a very long time. He is still thinking about it”.

More support for the “no truth, just perception” argument of Wittgenstein via Lilienthal (C8) from Shane Nunan of Finley, citing the philosophical Superman argument. “Three people on a Metropolis street corner look up. One declares that a flying object is a plane, another says it is a bird and the third suggests it is Superman. Three people see exactly the same thing but each has a different perception of the object. Which one is ‘true’?”

David Calvey of Gosford also joined the public service (C8) upon leaving school in 1961. “The advice I was given was not to look out of the window during the morning for fear I’d have nothing to do in the afternoon. I doubt whether things have changed.”

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how the ‘Tony Blair of San Francisco’ made her name and became Joe Biden’s VP pick

Both are Democrat Party mega-donors, with Ms Tompkins Buell being “very close” to Hillary Clinton (she is sometimes described as her “soulmate”), who also donated to a legal firm handling sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump. Mr Buell, meanwhile, is reportedly so good at fundraising – sweet-talking donors with a “reassuring and slow voice” – that Ms Harris once sat down just to watch him do it. “Mark gets on the phone with people he has known in this town for decades,” she said of him. “He’s really extraordinary.”

Mr Carlson says: “They were the prime movers behind Kamala’s first campaign, and they have been there ever since. The Pacific Heights crowd” – referring to a rich San Francisco neighbourhood whose hilltop location offers sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the dramatic hills nearby – normally would not have got involved in a district attorney race.

“Susie and Mark provided [access] to that community for Kamala, and they fell in love with her. So campaign finance has never been an issue for her.”

Mr Peskin tells a similar story. “Ms Harris has worked the political establishment and the liberal monied establishment to bring money to this effort to unseat Donald Trump. She was born of a truly diverse background and has learned how to raise money as a politician…

“I’ve never cultivated those relationships with that strata of society, so I really cannot tell you how she did that.”

Read more: Donald Trump and Mike Pence vs Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

The ‘top cop’ who is toxic to the Left

But if Ms Harris won allies in her ascent, she made many enemies in the San Francisco metro area, arguably the most progressive place in America. Despite Donald Trump’s efforts to paint her as a dangerous radical, the critique there often goes the other way.

Her record as a prosecutor and as district attorney has led to accusations that she is too supportive of the police and enabled the unfair incarceration of people whose convictions were based on faulty evidence.

Many LGBT Americans have never forgiven her for fighting, as California’s attorney general, to block a transgender woman serving a prison term from receiving sex reassignment surgery. She later said that the case had been “contrary to [her] beliefs”, but she had fought for her “client”, in this case the state, as a lawyer would.

In fact, simply being a prosecutor is enough to make her toxic for many supporters of the George Floyd protests, whose key slogans include “all cops are b——s” and “abolish the police”. 

Briahna Joy Gray, Bernie Sanders’ former national spokeswoman, said: “We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a ‘top cop’”:

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Tony Bobulinski tells Tucker: Joe Biden denials of involvement in son’s business ‘a blatant lie’

Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, will tell “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in an exclusive interview Tuesday evening that Joe Biden‘s denials of knowledge or involvement in his son’s foreign dealings are “a blatant lie.”

Bobulinski, a Navy veteran and the former head of SinoHawk Holdings —  which he describes as a partnership between the CEFC China Energy conglomerate and two Biden family members — told Carlson that he almost walked out of last week’s second presidential debate when Biden discussed the topic.


“In that debate, he made a specific statement around questions around this from the president,” recalled Bobulinski, who attended the debate as Trump’s guest. “And I’ll be honest with you, I almost stood up and screamed ‘liar’ and walked out because I was shocked that after four days or five days that they prep for this, that the Biden family is taking that position to the world.”

Text messages obtained by Fox News last week include an exchange between Bobulinski and James Biden, the Democratic nominee’s younger brother, in which Bobulinski asks James to “thank Joe for his time”.


The messages seem to indicate that a meeting took place, though it’s unclear what the substance of the meeting may have been. The messages are unrelated to the laptop or hard drive purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son.

“Mrng plse let me knw if we will do early dinner w your Uncle & dad and where, also for document translation do you want it simple Chinese or traditional?” Bobulinski texted Hunter Biden on May 2, 2017.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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AFL 2020: Tony Modra in WWE, Brendan Vink, new name for Australian pro wrestler, Adelaide, NXT, latest news

Tony Modra has entered the squared circle.

Sort of.

The AFL great, who remains beloved to this day for his incredible marking ability over his 165-game career at Adelaide and Fremantle, is about to find a whole new audience.

Get all the latest AFL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!

Grand Final

It appears an Australian WWE wrestler, previously known to the US audience as Brendan Vink, has been rechristened under a new moniker – Tony Modra.

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NRL 2020: Peter V’landys ARLC chair, code war, AFL, Tony Cochrane

ARLC Chair Peter V’landys has been labelled a “loud mouth” by Gold Coast Suns chair Tony Cochrane after he took a swipe at “AFL types” earlier this week.

V’landys reignited the code war when he hit out at “AFL types” whom he said were the NRL’s “greatest critics” when the governing body got the game back up and running in May.

The NRL was the first sporting code to resume after COVID-19 forced the world into lockdown and the AFL followed two weeks later.

Catch Fox League’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until kick off plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox League commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

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V’landys has taken great pride in that.

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FBI will interview Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski

The FBI has asked Hunter Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski to sit for an interview Friday – a day after he made televised accusations against Joe Biden and attended the presidential debate as the president’s guest. 

FBI officials will meet with Bobulinski hours after he spoke about texts and emails he said surrounded an effort to set up a business deal with Biden family members, and said he was turning over three cell phones stocked with information to the FBI and meet with GOP-run Senate Homeland Security Committee. 

He produced three phones which he said he would hand over and which he says show ‘corruption’ by the Biden family. 

Committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said in a statement: ‘I appreciate that the FBI has a job to do, and I am glad they are finally taking an interest in these concerning financial matters that our Committees have been investigating for months,”I expect that Mr. Bobulinski will speak with our committee as soon as possible and fully share his insights into the Biden family’s business dealings,’ Johnson said.

Johnson’s panel released an additional statement Friday that said: ‘This morning lawyers for Tony Bobulinski informed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Finance Committee that the FBI asked his client to sit for an interview today in addition to providing copies of his phones. 

‘Consequently, the interview scheduled for this morning has been postponed. Mr. Bobulinski has agreed to honor his commitment to sit for an interview in the near future with the Committees.’ 

The Justice Department has a policy against announcing investigations that might interfere in the elections close to Election Day, however Johnson’s statement appears to have come on his own authority.

The FBI said it wouldn’t comment ‘in keeping with our standard practice of neither confirming nor denying the existence of an investigation.’

The meeting, even if little comes of the matter, could create the impression of an investigation into Trump’s rival in the presidential election – as the president criss-crosses the country and accuses Biden and his son of ‘corruption.’ 

Trump’s campaign pulled off another pre-debate surprise Thursday, putting a former business partner of Hunter Biden on camera to level the charge that Joe Biden was ‘familiar’ with his son’s business dealings in China .

But the former vice-president aggressively challenged the Trump campaign in the course of the debate, saying he has never received money from a ‘foreign source.’

Announcement: Tony Bobulinski was Donald Trump’s guest at Thursday’s presidential debate and gave a statement to reporters before it saying he could show Joe Biden lied

Handing these over: These are the three phones - two Blackberries and an iPhone - which Bobulinski says he is giving to the FBI

Handing these over: These are the three phones – two Blackberries and an iPhone – which Bobulinski says he is giving to the FBI 

Announcement: Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed the FBI move as he postponed speaking to Bobulisnki himself

Announcement: Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed the FBI move as he postponed speaking to Bobulisnki himself

Biden in bed: A photo of the former vice-president's son apparently asleep is among the pictures Giuliani released. It shows him with a pipe of the type used to smoke crack or marijuana in his mouth

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided information from Hunter Biden's laptop to the New York Post

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided information from Hunter Biden’s laptop to the New York Post

Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski spoke to reporters at the Marriott in downtown Nashville three hours before start time of the final presidential debate – and said he will turn over three cell phones to the FBI and meet with Republican senators about his former business deals.

He said he was angry with Hunter after he wanted to use funds for a prospective deal with a Chinese energy company was his ‘Hunter’s personal piggy bank.’

‘I will be providing to the FBI the devices which contain the evidence corroborating what I have said so I will not be taking any questions at this time,’ he told reporters who make up President Donald Trump’s traveling press pool.

‘I have heard Joe Biden say he’s never discussed the business with hunter – that is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family including Joe Biden, said Bobulinski. 

‘I was told this past Sunday by somebody who was also involved in this matter that if I went public with this information, it would bury all of us, man – the Bidens included. I have no wish to bury anyone,’ he said.

He described what he said was a May 2, 2017 meeting with Joe Biden to discuss a business venture involving China that would invest in infrastructure, real estate and technology in the U.S.

‘At my approximately hour-long meeting with Joe that night we discussed the Biden’s history, the Biden’s family business plans with the Chinese with which he was plainly familiar at least at a high level,’ he said.  

‘After that meeting, I had numerous communications with Hunter, [partner Robert] Walker, [James] Gilliar, and Jim Biden regarding the allocation of equity ownership of the sinohawk, the firm they created. 

The televised statement came after Bobulinski told conservative media outlets that text messages that appeared to show Hunter Biden’s business negotiation and references to his father were authentic.

‘To me it seems like distraction and spectacle,’ Biden backer Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told Fox News, which aired Bobulinski’s statement in full.

‘We’ve got Rudy Giuliani with one hand coming up with a hard drive and a computer, and this man on the other hand coming up with last minute cell phones,’ he said, saying it makes him ‘seriously wonder.’ 

Coons said the emails and texts ‘aren’t being sourced, aren’t being verified,’ and noted that Biden unlike Trump, has released his tax returns.

The Biden campaign released a statement calling the attacks a ‘smear’ and saying there is ‘no indication’ Joe Biden ever got ‘any money from anybody in these business deals.’

‘Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business deals with his family, nor in any overseas business dealing whatsoever,’ according to the statement.   

Bobulinski said Hunter ‘became very upset with me’ when he challenged him about how the payment distributions would occur – and also said none ever went out to the company that a group of associates created called Sinohawk.

Warning: On May 20 2017, James Gilliar WhatsApped Tony Bobulinski in a discussion about their deal with Hunter Biden and James Biden: 'Don't mention Joe being involved. They are paranoid.

Warning: On May 20 2017, James Gilliar WhatsApped Tony Bobulinski in a discussion about their deal with Hunter Biden and James Biden: ‘Don’t mention Joe being involved. They are paranoid.

Who's the chairman: Hunter Biden referred to the chairman in one exchange with an unknown member of the group involved in the deal. Later, Rob Walker texted Tony Bobulinski to say: 'When he said his chairman he was talking about his dad'

Who's the chairman: Hunter Biden referred to the chairman in one exchange with an unknown member of the group involved in the deal. Later, Rob Walker texted Tony Bobulinski to say: 'When he said his chairman he was talking about his dad'

Who’s the chairman: Hunter Biden referred to the chairman in one exchange with an unknown member of the group involved in the deal. Later, Rob Walker texted Tony Bobulinski to say: ‘When he said his chairman he was talking about his dad’

Source: The messages were taken from a broken Blackberry and reproduced Thursday by conservative news outlets. In this message Hunter again refers to the 'chairman,' this time saying 'an emphatic no.' What that was to is unclear

Source: The messages were taken from a broken Blackberry and reproduced Thursday by conservative news outlets. In this message Hunter again refers to the ‘chairman,’ this time saying ‘an emphatic no.’ What that was to is unclear

A text from Hunter references a business effort to be 'partners with the Bidens' by a Chinese businessman who has now vanished

A text from Hunter references a business effort to be ‘partners with the Bidens’ by a Chinese businessman who has now vanished

Mystifying exchange: This text, dated May 20 2017, suggests a plan for Joe Biden to run for president. However at the time, he was not publicly suggesting he would and has repeatedly said that he did not want to get involved until August 2017

Mystifying exchange: This text, dated May 20 2017, suggests a plan for Joe Biden to run for president. However at the time, he was not publicly suggesting he would and has repeatedly said that he did not want to get involved until August 2017

Lucrative arrangement? Correspondence between Tony Bobulinski and Gongwen Dong suggested the 'Bidens' would get a $5 million interest free loan. What happened next is unknown

Lucrative arrangement? Correspondence between Tony Bobulinski and Gongwen Dong suggested the ‘Bidens’ would get a $5 million interest free loan. What happened next is unknown 


Hunter Biden

Vice president’s son was well-known to be seeking business deals in China. He traveled there in 2013 on Air Force Two and introduced his father to a business partner, Jonathan Li. In 2017, after his father left office, he pursued a relationship with Ye Jianming

Ye Jianming

Chairman and founder of CEFC China Energy, 43. A wunderkind of the Chinese energy world. Gave Hunter a diamond in 2017 as they pursued a business relationship. But in November 2017 company was accused of bribery in Africa by the DOJ, and in March 2018 he was arrested in China, reportedly on the orders of Xi Jinping. Has not been seen or heard from since but a prosecution in 2018 saw a senior Communist leader accused of taking bribes from him

Zang Jian Jun 

Senior executive at CEFC and also a senior figure in the China Chamber of International Commerce 

 Tony Bobulinski 

Penn State wrestler and Navy veteran turned-California businessman, 48, who appears to have done other business in China. Unclear how he and Gilliar know each other. Other business ventures include an investment in a Chinese men’s clothing company called VLOV

Rob Walker

Bill Clinton administration official who is now co-founder of a technology-focused private equity firm, Pilot Growth. His wife Betsy Massey Walker was Jill Biden’s assistant when she was Second Lady 

James Gilliar

British-born 56-year-old businessman based in the Czech Republic. Set up jc2r, the company which is in the emails, in 2015. It is no longer active. Gilliar appears to breed race horses with his wife, Erika and appears to also be an adviser to a holding company run by the leader of Abu Dhabi’s son

James Biden

Joe Biden’s younger brother and a serial entrepreneur who has long faced claims of profiting from his brother’s political career. He and Hunter were in business together in 2006 when they bought investment firm Paradigm Global Advisors which they unwound in 2010 after connections to a Ponzi fraudster emerged

The Chairman and The Big Guy

Said to be Joe Biden in many of the text exchanges although Hunter’s messages do not state this directly 


‘During these negotiations, I repeated to Hunter and others that Sinohawk could not be hunter’s personal piggy bank and I demanded that proper corporate governance procedures be implemented for capital distributions,’ he said.

‘Hunter became very upset with me. CEFC through July 2017 was assuring me the funds would be transferred to Sinohawk, but they were never sent to our company,’ he revealed – a statement that would seem to indicate nothing went to Joe Biden.

‘Instead, I found out from Senator Johnson’s September report that the $5 million was sent in August 2017 to entities affiliated with Hunter,’ he said.

He also said what he had told media outlets, that ‘Hunter often referred to his father as the ‘big guy’ or ‘my chairman” – language that appears in emails that appear to discuss percentage breakdowns for a business deal with a Chinese energy firm as laid out in a May 2017 email. 

The dramatic appearance came as Trump and Biden were set to face off in a high-stakes final televised presidential debate. 

A flurry of emails about Hunter Biden and his international business dealings emerged just hours before Thursday’s third and final presidential debate – with Joe Biden‘s family certain to play a starring role in President Donald Trump‘s attacks.

Many of the documents show Hunter Biden jealously apprising the value of his family name in contacts with his business partners. Some of the texts reference ‘the chairman’ in chats – a figure one partner has identified as the former vice president. 

In one of the texts, Hunter Biden business partner James Gilliar tells another partner, Tony Bobulinski, to use discretion talking about the Biden name.    

‘Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face, I know u know that but they are paranoid’, he wrote, Fox News reported, in one of numerous disclosures the network said was ‘unrelated’ to the Hunter Biden laptop information that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post.

Trump brought Bobulinski, a 48-year-old Penn State wrestler and Navy vet turned international investor, to the Nashville, TN, debate as a guest in an attempt to weaponize the messages.

Fox News reported that Bobulinski was preparing to hand over electronic devices and records of his involvement with Biden to the FBI, and speaking Friday to staff from the Senate Homeland Security Committee, whose Republican majority is investigating the Biden laptop.

The messages span the globe from China to Romania, and appear to show efforts by the former vice president’s son, who graduated from Yale Law School and founded Rosemont Seneca Partners – but has acknowledged struggling with drugs and making bad decisions – to seek to cash in on his famous name.

The messages were reproduced by conservative outlets including Fox News and The Federalist without any indication of who had provided them.

Many are pictures taken of a Blackberry with the original messages on them, making it more difficult to verify that they were sent and received by Hunter and the people named in them, including his uncle James Biden. The device featured in many of the shots appears to have a cracked screen.

One of them is dated in May 2017 and refers to a ‘campaign’ by Joe Biden, which at the time was not only not taking place, but was considered highly unlikely. Biden himself said that he only decided to come out of what was seen as a political retirement in August 2017 after the violence at the infamous United the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.  

‘OK they should be paranoid about things,’ was Bobulinski’s response, written May 20.

Gilliar writes: ‘U need to stress to H, does he want to be the reason or factor that blows up his dad’s campaign.’

In another group message, Hunter Biden writes to Bobulinski: ‘Hey TONY I have no idea. In light of the fact wwe are at an impasse of sorts, and both James’ lawyers and my Chairman gave an emphatic NO- I think we should all meet in Romania on Tuesday next week. 

Biden has denied any overseas business dealings and has called the release of emails from son Hunter’s laptop a ‘smear.’ 

Trump made plans to bring Bobulinski to the debate as his ‘special guest,’ an apparent attempt to rattle Biden and steal a play from his 2016 playbook, when he brought Clinton sex accusers to a debate.  

In still another document, Fox reported on a 2017 email from Joe Biden’s brother James to his business partners.  

The email lists ‘Phase one domestic contacts/ projects’ as well as ‘key domestic contacts for phase one target projects.’ It goes on to list biographical information on a host of key Democratic figures, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, California Sen. Kamal Harris (now Joe Biden’s running mate), and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The descriptions contain standard biographical information, and no indication they took part or were even contacted. Former Florida Republican Gov. and now senator Rick Scott also was listed.

The tranche of information, much of it reported by outlets supportive of the president, comes as Trump has said he will raise Hunter Biden at the Nashville debate – and keep up his blasts of ‘corruption’ that he has debuted on the campaign trail, where he has referred to the Bidens as a ‘crime family.’ 

A 2017 emails asks if the chairman is ‘just doing infrastructure’ or ‘looking @ technology deals?’

Hunter Biden responds: ‘Everything – the only thing I told them I would not do is defense related technology and and arms and anything that would give the Chinese a military advantage.’ 

A May 19, 2017 email from partner Rob Walker writes that ‘chairman’ is in reference to ‘his dad.’   


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