President Donald Trump urged China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, it was reported Thursday.

Trump told reporters, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens” as he left the White House on Thursday for a trip to Florida.

Trump’s comment comes as House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry into the president over his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s leader. In the call, Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to probe Biden — the Democratic frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election — and his son Hunter Biden for alleged corruption. There is no evidence thus far that the former vice president and his son, who is a board member of natural gas company Burisma Holdings, have committed any offenses. On Thursday, Trump reportedly cited a business deal Hunter Biden was involved in that included a withdrawal of money from an investment fund the Bank of China — which is owned by the country’s government — announced in 2013.

The president’s latest remark is yet another example of Trump attempting to enlist a foreign power for personal or political gain. Earlier this week, it was revealed Trump asked Australia’s prime minister to help Attorney General William Barr find the origins of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, an investigation that centered around him and his associates for over two years. Political pundits were also quick to compare Trump’s most recent comment about China to a similar one he made during his 2016 campaign. Just months before the election, Trump called on Russia in televised comments to find and publish more than 30,000 missing emails belonging to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

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In a tweet on Thursday, Clinton commented on Trump’s latest demand from a foreign government to get dirt on his political opponent:

Trump’s remarks on China also come amid a heated trade war between the United States and the Asian country. Thus far, the U.S. has levied tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China has imposed taxes on $185 billion in American products. Last month, China announced it would exempt several agricultural products — like soybeans and pork — from tariffs. The U.S. responded by announcing that 437 Chinese goods — including steel, textiles, and chemicals — would be excluded from tariffs. Trump also announced a major bailout for farmers affected by the trade war earlier this year. Another round of trade talks is scheduled to be held next week.


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