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Biden has a 7th grandchild. But he's never acknowledged her, until now

President Biden walks with his grandson Beau Biden as they leave the White House on December 16, 2022.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
President Biden walks with his grandson Beau Biden as they leave the White House on December 16, 2022.

President Biden publicly acknowledged his seventh grandchild, a 4-year-old named Navy Joan Roberts, for the first time on Friday, capping a month of questions about why he had seemingly excluded the little girl from his tight family circle.

Roberts is the daughter of Hunter Biden and Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas woman who filed a paternity lawsuit against her child's father in 2019.

"Our son Hunter and Navy's mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward," President Biden said in a statement to People magazine published on Friday evening.

"This is not a political issue, it's a family matter," Biden said in the statement. "Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy."

President Biden is known for often speaking about his love of his family and grandchildren. Last year, Hunter Biden's eldest child, Naomi, was married at the White House in what was a lavish affair.

In early July, the New York Times profiled Navy, her mother, and some of the details of their child support settlement. The story drew attention to the fact that the president had never recognized his 4-year-old granddaughter.

Some GOP presidential contenders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made jabs at the president for the omission.

Hunter Biden recently settled a lawsuit over his daughter

Hunter Biden has struggled with addiction. In his 2021 memoir, he blamed his addictions for his court battle over his daughter's paternity.

"It's why I would later challenge in court the woman from Arkansas who had a baby in 2018 and claimed the child was mine — I had no recollection of our encounter. That's how little connection I had with anyone," he wrote in his memoir. "I was a mess, but a mess I've taken responsibility for."

Hunter Biden was proven to be the child's father through a DNA test. He has recently settled a lawsuit for child support.

He has three older children, now in their 20s, as well as a 3-year-old son named Beau, who is often seen at the White House.

Hunter Biden leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 26, 2023. He pleaded not guilty to minor tax offenses on July 26, as a deal with federal prosecutors fell apart in a Delaware court.
RYAN COLLERD / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Hunter Biden leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 26, 2023. He pleaded not guilty to minor tax offenses on July 26, as a deal with federal prosecutors fell apart in a Delaware court.

Hunter Biden has been the target of Republican attacks on the president because of his business dealings and legal issues.

He recently agreed to plead guilty to tax and gun charges in a deal that would allow him to avoid future prosecution. But that plea deal fell apart when the judge said she needed more information and wasn't ready to accept the deal he struck with the Justice Department.

The White House has refused to comment on whether Hunter Biden's legal troubles are a political liability for the president, describing them as personal matters, and saying only that the president loves his son and supports him as he tries to rebuild his life.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: July 28, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
An earlier caption misspelled Hunter Biden's last name as Binden.
Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.