When reporters questioned why Joe Biden was banning his press corps from covering first granddaughter Naomi Biden‘s wedding, hosted last weekend at the White House, the president maintained that the event was a wholly private affair, paid for by the family. At least one of those proved to be patently false.
While the journalists from the New York Times, the Associated Press, and PBS were barred from Saturday’s festivities, some 325 guests and Vogue magazine were let in. While the White House maintains that the wedding photo shoot featured in Democratic megadonor Anna Wintour’s magazine was conducted before the actual day of the ceremony, the Vogue spread featured exclusive photography clearly monopolized and sold to the publication.
Then there’s the cost of the whole affair. Naomi is the eldest daughter of Hunter Biden, the scandal-ridden first son reportedly under FBI investigation and definitely under congressional investigation once the GOP takes control over the House. Hunter, a recovering crack addict, may have once made millions branding himself as a “consultant” in Russia and China, but he famously fumed at his father to cover his expenses and failed to pay his tax bills.
So did the Biden family really pay for all of the first granddaughter’s goodies on their own? Or, like father, did daughter simply trade on the Biden family name, using the promise of advertising directly from the White House into the pages of Vogue in exchange for free gifts?
According to the Washington Examiner’s tally, Hunter must have had to make a killing from his paintings in order to patronize the pricey services boasted in the magazine. Haircuts from Naomi’s stylist, Xavier Velasquez, at a New York studio start at $250, and celebrity esthetician Sarah Akram lists her “introductory” facials at $160. Naomi’s “longtime brow artist,” Azi Sacks, charges $160 for brow design appointments and $40 for brow tinting. The price points of neither makeup appointments by Shayna Goldberg nor the custom-made Ralph Lauren Collection wedding dress are listed publicly, but the most elementary Ralph Lauren Collection dresses for the masses start in the thousands. Biden wore two other dresses for the evening reception: a Mikado ballgown by Reem Acra and a Markarian mini-dress. (Public versions of both dresses retail at a few thousand dollars apiece.)
How much did the wedding cost itself? Thanks to the generosity of the president and Uncle Sam, the venue may have been free, but Biden outsourced wedding planning to event planner Bryan Rafanelli, who organized Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. According to CNN’s Kate Bennett, “the price tag for many of [Rafanelli’s] events starts at around $300,000 and can go into the millions of dollars.”
Maybe Middle Class Joe ultimately stepped in to bail out Hunter and company because unless the younger Biden downgraded from his Malibu mansion, there’s no way he could afford the wedding bill. That is, unless, Vogue paid the Bidens very well in exchange for them denying the press corps access to the White House event of the year.
Trading access for cash? That would be so idiosyncratically Hunter!