As the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 2020, Joe Biden considered a prominent Republican as his vice presidential running mate, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the Daily Mail, in the runup to the 2020 election Walmart board chairman Greg Penner had back-channel talks with Hunter Biden, the president's son, regarding a bipartisan ticket of Joe Biden and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2016.
The Daily Mail discovered this revelation after poring over a series of text messages, emails, and one phone call recording from Hunter Biden's laptop, which was seized by the FBI three years ago.
The various correspondents brought more insight to the proposed experiment of pairing now-President Biden with a so-called "Never Trump" Republican (Kasich).
Also, according to the Daily Mail, Hunter Biden used that conversation time with Penner to pitch the Walmart board chairman on a number of money-making ventures.
The 52-year-old Penner is married to Walmart heiress Carrie Walton and manages her family's sizable wealth fund.
According to Federal Election Commission data (via the Daily Mail), Penner has donated $641,235 to political campaigns since 1999, including political action committees for Biden and various Democrat lawmakers.
Citing the Daily Mail report, Penner and Hunter Biden have crossed paths numerous times in previous years.
- Both men graduated from Georgetown University in 1992.
- Penner and Hunter Biden reportedly discussed their shared business interests in China, through emails dating back to 2010.
- In 2013 and 2014, Hunter Biden attempted to loop in Walmart to his own business investments — Counsyl and E-Plata — in deals that had a potential windfall of $50 million.
- And in August 2017, Hunter Biden reportedly wrote Penner with a cryptic request. "I'd like to discuss something with you that's best not to be done by text or email — nothing bad I promise," said Hunter Biden in his email to Penner.
Also, in June 2018, Penner emailed Hunter: "I'd like to visit with you about some options I've been working on for the 2020 election."
Then on October 25, 2018, an audio recording of a phone call between Penner and Hunter Biden — saved on Hunter's abandoned laptop — revealed the details of the following plan:
On the call, Hunter told Penner that, "It's gonna be very difficult for [Joe] not to run" for president – six months before Joe Biden officially declared his candidacy.
Hunter may have first broached the subject in an August 2017 email to Penner, asking to discuss something that is "best not to be done by text or email."
According to the Daily Mail, Hunter Biden also told Penner: "I think that whether it's the party, or whether it's people like you Greg, the overall objective here is to stop not only Donald Trump, but to stem the tide of what Donald Trump represents in the political process for the future of this country."
The Biden-Kasich presidential ticket never materialized.
Instead, Joe Biden chose former Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate and Kasich sat out the Republican side of the 2020 election, ultimately endorsing Biden over former President Donald Trump in the general election.
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