Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticized President Donald Trump Friday for asking China and Ukraine to investigate democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying Trump’s request is “wrong and appalling.”

“By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” Romney tweeted Friday afternoon.

Romney’s statement is the strongest rebuke from a Republican against Trump requesting China to investigate Biden, as most GOP members have remained silent on the issue.


He added on Twitter: “When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.”

Romney’s criticism comes after Trump told said Thursday that Ukraine and China should investigate the Biden family for corruption. His request to Ukraine is central to a whistleblower complaint against him and related reports alleging that he threatened to withhold aid if the Ukrainian government would not investigate the Biden family. The whistleblower complaint led the House to launch an official impeachment inquiry into the president.

Other Republicans to criticize Trump’s statements include Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) who told CNN that Trump’s comments about China were “something a president of the United States shouldn’t be doing,” and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) who wrote in a statement that any investigation into Biden should be handled domestically.

“Hold up: Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth,” Sasse said. “If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps.”

Hurd added that Trump’s comments could hurt U.S. trade deals with China.

“China is an adversary,” Hurd said. “We’re in a tight and complex trade negotiation with China now, and so you’re potentially giving them something to hold over your head.”

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