Published: Fri, October 04, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Trump Urges China, Along With Ukraine, to Investigate Bidens

Trump Urges China, Along With Ukraine, to Investigate Bidens

Preparing to fly to Florida to give a speech contrasting his work on healthcare for seniors to the Medicare for All proposals advanced by some Democratic presidential candidates, Trump told reporters that Ukraine should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The statement also would have called on the country to investigate what Trump has perceived as Ukrainian interference in the 2016 United States election to benefit Hillary Clinton, the paper reported.

To illustrate one of the many reasons why Trump's call for China to investigate Biden is so problematic, CNN's Ryan Struyk pointed out that just 30 seconds before Trump said China should look into Biden, he noted that if the nation doesn't "do what we want, we have tremendous power".

Months later, Trump used Pence to tell Zelenskiy that the White House withheld $391 million in military aid because Ukraine had been dragging its feet on combatting corruption. He said he hadn't previously asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter, but it's "certainly something we could start thinking about".

The president's actions came after Fox News reported on a previously known trip from 2013, when then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden traveled to China aboard Air Force Two.

The allegations relate to Hunter Biden joining the board of an investment firm with Chinese ties while his father was vice president.

"If you're an expert in a country or on a particular issue and you prepare briefs that time and again the president never reads, after a while you start wondering, 'What value am I contributing?'" says Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration who is now a senior fellow in defense and national security policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington. "What happened in China is just about as bad as what happened in Ukraine". Breaking with precedent, Mr. Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president, and has declined to release tax returns.

Trump's public request is also probably a moot point, China experts add.

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The president's remarks Thursday are a significant escalation of events in the Ukraine matter.

"They [the Ukrainians] should investigate the Bidens", Trump said. High-level negotiations are expected to resume in Washington late next week. That's unseemly - but no more so than the business favors obtained by Mr. Trump's own children from China and other countries.

Beijing also stands to gain little by helping Trump undermine a political opponent, even in the midst of a bitter trade war that China is eager to end, China experts say.

"I think you read everything. And you're not going to destroy my family".

Trump doubled down on his comments later Thursday, saying in a tweet: "As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!" "He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time".

On Thursday, Kate Bedingfield, the Biden campaign's deputy campaign manager and communications director, called Mr. Trump's morning comments the "equivalent of his infamous "Russia, if you're listening" moment from 2016". (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images) Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and President Donald Trump wait for a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 21, 2017.

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