Trump Asked Chinese Leader Xi Jinping To Investigate Biden In Phone Conversation
President Donald Trump said Thursday he wants both Ukraine and China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, startling Chinese officials who have little interest in becoming entangled in the Ukraine controversy.
“This is quite chaotic,” a Chinese diplomat told CNN. “We do not want to get in the middle of the US politics.”
Trump said Thursday he had never previously pushed Chinese president Xi Jinping to investigate the presidential candidate, but a June 18 phone call between Jinping and Trump revealed he had previously raised Biden in conversation.
During the phone call, Trump talked about the political prospects of both Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
Warren reacted to the news on Twitter, tweeting that “Trump can say what he wants about me, but it’s outrageous that any president would sell out the people of Hong Kong behind closed doors,” referring to Trump telling Jinping he would keep quiet about pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong amidst trade negotiations.
“The public must see the transcript of Trump’s call with Xi. And we need a leader who will stand up for our values,” she added.
Trump can say what he wants about me, but it’s outrageous that any president would sell out the people of Hong Kong behind closed doors.
The public must see the transcript of Trump’s call with Xi. And we need a leader who will stand up for our values.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 3, 2019
The White House’s record of that call was then stored in a highly secure electronic system, which also protected Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with the president of Ukraine that caused a whistleblower complaint leading to Democrats opening an impeachment inquiry.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham defended the use of the server.
“World leaders need to be able to speak freely in their conversations with the President, that is a key component to effective diplomacy. And that is why such conversations are kept confidential,” said Grisham. “We are not going to start discussing the contents of every conversation President Trump has with world leaders, other than to say his conversations are always appropriate.”
Trump suggested on Thursday that while Biden was Vice President, China gave $1.5 billion to Hunter Biden in order to influence his father and obtain favorable trade deals.
“That’s probably why China for so many years has had a sweetheart deal where China rips off the U.S.A.” because they deal with people like “Biden where they give the son a billion and a half dollars,” Trump told reporters Thursday.
The billion dollar figure is likely in reference to the amount of money that a Shanghai-based private-equity company, BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Co., aimed to raise in 2014. The company’s largest shareholder is the state-controlled Bank of China.
Hunter Biden joined the board of BHR in late 2013. In October 2017, he bought 10 percent of the firm for $420,000.
Hunter’s lawyer, George Mesires, said that Hunter has not profited financially from his investment and board position.
“He has not been compensated for being on the board of directors, nor has he received any return on his investment to date,” Mesires said Thursday.”There have been no distributions to the shareholders since Hunter has been an equity owner.”
Trump has been targeting the Bidens for alleged conflict of interests.
He pressured Ukraine to investigate both Bidens, believing that Joe Biden used his political power to force the removal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor who had been investigating Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company whose board Hunter Biden joined in 2014.
There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden in China and Ukraine.
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