Politics

Rep. Jordan suggests Trump was only joking when asking China to investigate the Bidens

Rep. Jim Jordan on Sunday insisted President Trump was not “serious” about asking China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“Do you think it’s appropriate for President Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?” asked George Stephanopoulos in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

“George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family?” Jordan, R-Ohio, responded, smiling.

“He said it right there in public,” Stephanopoulos pointed out.

“As I think Senator [Marco] Rubio said a couple of days ago, I think he’s getting the press all spun up about this.”

Rubio, R-Fla., at a press conference Friday said he doubted Trump was making “a real request” when he called on China in addition to Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. As he’d done with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, Trump had also discussed his political rivals with China’s President Xi Jinping. During a June 18 phone call, the president brought up the standing of Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in the presidential race, CNN reported Thursday. While the record of that call was stored in the same highly secure electronic system that houses the full record of Trump’s call with Zelensky, Trump is also reported to have told Xi that he would remain silent on protests in Hong Kong while trade negotiations continued with the U.S.

To call on a foreign government to investigate a political opponent is illegal, and is the primary reason why House Democrats are conducting an impeachment inquiry.

“Remember, this is the president who’s been tougher on China than any other president,” said Jordan, who sits on the House Oversight Committee. “The same guy who’s been tougher on China now thinks, ‘Oh, China’s going to investigate’ — he was just making a statement to just underscore how wrong it is what took place here with Hunter Biden getting these deals that he got. That’s all he’s doing.”

“So the president asked China to investigate. We’re not supposed to take the president at his word?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“Again, I think Senator Rubio said it best,” Jordan said.

“But he said in public the exact same thing he said in private to the Ukrainian president,” Stephanopoulos countered.

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