Trump calls for China to investigate Bidens

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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President Trump calls for China to investigate Bidens

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

President Donald Trump on Thursday called for China to investigate former Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden amid an impeachment inquiry centered on a similar request he made last year to Ukrainian officials.

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"China should start an investigation into the Bidens," Trump told reporters Thursday outside the White House.

He added that he hasn't asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open an investigation, "but it's certainly something we can start thinking about."

 

In a statement, Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, said Trump's call to China was "this election's equivalent of his infamous 'Russia, if you're listening' moment from 2016 -- a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over country."

"The White House itself has admitted that Donald Trump tried to bully a foreign country into lying about the domestic opponent he's afraid to look in the eye next November," Bedfield said. "Now, with his administration in free-fall, Donald Trump is flailing and melting down on national television, desperately clutching for conspiracy theories that have been debunked and dismissed by independent, credible news organizations."

Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have previously tried to raise suspicions about Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his business dealings in China, according to The Associated Press. Trump and his associates have claimed Hunter Biden convinced China to contribute $1.5 billion to a fund for an investment firm he had a stake in, Politico reported. However, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that the allegation was "totally groundless."

There is no evidence the former vice president benefited financially from his son's business relationships.

The president's comments drew criticism from Democrats who accused Trump of soliciting foreign help to influence the 2020 election.

"Soliciting a foreign power to investigate your political opponent is an abuse of power," Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., told Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree. "That's why Congress started a formal impeachment inquiry."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed last week that Democrats had launched an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower came forward with concerns about Trump's conduct with foreign leaders. The whistleblower was particularly concerned about a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A rough transcript of the call released by the White House showed Trump raised unsubstantiated allegations against Biden and urged Zelensky to coordinate with Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate the claims. Trump has denied that the conversation was inappropriate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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