Trump Allies Allege He Was ‘Joking’ About Getting Countries To Investigate Biden — But China Took It Seriously
Last week, amid rising tensions within the White House over allegations of President Donald Trump urging Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden, the commander-in-chief doubled down on his remarks, calling on China to do the same.
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened with China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump said, per a report from Fox News.
There is no evidence to support Trump’s claims about Joe or Hunter Biden.
After the comments came about, Trump’s Republican allies in Congress sought to minimize the damage from his comments. Their efforts led to many of them suggesting that Trump’s remarks were simply a joke, and that the media refused to view it in that manner.
“I don’t think it’s a real request. I think he did it to get you guys,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said, according to CNN. “I think he did it to provoke you to ask me and others and get outraged by it. He plays it like a violin and everyone falls into it. That’s not a real request.”
Another Republican senator, Roy Blunt of Missouri, echoed Rubio’s talking points. “I doubt the China comment is serious,” Blunt said of Trump’s words.
Numerous Republicans dismissed Pres. Trump asking China to investigate the Bidens as a joke meant to rile up the press.@NatashaBertrand reacts: "To come out and say that this is just a joke completely belies everything that we know about the president."https://t.co/Mb2dAVA8oZ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 6, 2019
Rep. Jim Jordan, the ranking Republican member on the House Intelligence Committee, also weighed in on the matter while speaking over the weekend to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. When questioned about Trump’s comments, Jordan responded to the host in an incredulous way.
“George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family?” Jordan said, according to Axios.
Yet Trump’s request for China to investigate the Bidens was taken seriously by at least one actor in this saga: China itself. On Tuesday, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said they would not take up Trump’s calls to investigate either of the Bidens.
“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States,” the spokesman said, according to a report from the South China Morning Post. “Our position is consistent and clear.”