Oct. 3 (UPI) — President Donald Trump doubled down on his request for foreign governments to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, again asking Ukraine — and now China — to probe the Democratic presidential candidate.
Trump made the suggestion while speaking to reporters on the South Lawn before leaving on Marine One en route to Florida.
Ukraine “should investigate the Bidens,” Trump said when asked what he hoped Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would do after a July phone call in which Trump encouraged a probe.
“And, by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with … Ukraine,” Trump added.
The July phone call with Zelensky came under scrutiny last month after a whistle-blower in the intelligence community filed a complaint about it with the office of the director of national intelligence.
Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have both said they have encouraged Ukraine to carry out an investigation into Joe Biden. Trump accused the former vice president of pressuring Ukraine to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, a gas company for which Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, served on the board.
Shokin’s successor, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Bloomberg in May that the investigation into the company began before Hunter Biden joined the board, and he wasn’t specifically a target of the probe. Additionally, Bloomberg reported the investigation into Burisma ended more than a year before Joe Biden called for the ouster of Shokin.
Multiple Western countries, including the United States, had called for Shokin’s removal due to allegations of corruption.
Democrats said Trump’s request of Ukraine — and now China — amount to asking a foreign country for help winning an election because Joe Biden is running to unseat Trump in the 2020 presidential election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched an impeachment inquiry Sept. 24 after the White House released a memo detailing the July phone conversation.
Trump’s public call to have China investigate the Bidens come as the U.S. president repeatedly accuses Hunter Biden of using an Air Force Two trip with his father in 2013 to do private business and “walked out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund.”
The Washington Post reported Hunter Biden didn’t raise money for the private equity firm and was instead on a board that advised investors. The newspaper’s fact-checker found that the younger Biden didn’t have an equity stake in the fund until after his father wasn’t vice president and his investment has yet to pay off.