News

White House

Fourth Senate Republican Denounces Trump’s Call for China to Investigate Biden

Sen. Rob Portman at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in 2018. (Erin Schaff/Reuters)

Senator Rob Portman on Monday joined a small handful of Senate Republicans to criticize President Trump’s remark that China should investigate Joe Biden over his son’s business dealings.

Last week, Trump accused Hunter Biden on Thursday of flying on Air Force Two in 2013 with his father, then the vice president, in order to obtain $1.5 billion from China for his private equity fund.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said. “He got kicked out of the Navy. All of the sudden he’s getting billions of dollars. You know what they call that? They call that a payoff.”

The Ohio Republican called Trump’s comments “not appropriate” but stopped short of calling it “an impeachable offense,” saying he does not believe the president’s remark rises to that level.

“It’s not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent,” Portman said at the Annual Ohio Defense Forum, which is hosted by The Dayton Development Coalition.

Three other Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have also denounced Trump’s comment.

Trump’s comments came as he was battered with criticism from both sides of the aisle over his July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that the former vice president used his position to help Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings avoid a corruption probe soon after his son was appointed to its board of directors.

“The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period,” Portman said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month announced the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Trump withheld Ukrainian military aid unless Ukraine investigated Biden.

“I don’t view it as an impeachable offense,” Portman said. “I think the House frankly rushed to impeachment assuming certain things.”

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More