Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) released a statement Friday calling President Trump’s Thursday claim that China should look into former Vice President Joe Biden “brazen and unprecedented” and “wrong and appalling.”
“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,” the statement reads.
The move comes after a statement that released Friday morning by Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), who declared “Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth.”
President Trump told reporters Thursday during an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn that Hunter Biden had engaged in “crooked” business dealings in China, and suggested the Chinese government should investigate for potential corruption.
Trump has alleged that Biden received $1.5 billion from a Chinese private-equity firm after flying to the country on Air Force Two with his father in December 2013. According to a July article from The New Yorker, “some of Biden’s advisers were worried that Hunter, by meeting with a business associate during his father’s visit, would expose the Vice-President to criticism.”
“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,” Trump said of the younger Biden.
Romney, long a critic of President Trump, initially released a statement on impeachment proceedings Sept. 22. “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out,” it reads.
“He’s in a different place from many politicians still feeling out their place in the party and hoping to be president someday,” Senator Christopher Murphy (D., Conn.), who serves with on the Foreign Relations Committee, said of Romney to The New York Times on Sept. 26. “He’s a loyal Republican, but that’s not his first priority — he’s a bit of a throwback.”