Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign was quick to condemn President Trump’s Thursday claim that China should investigate the Biden family’s business dealings, saying the administration is now spiraling.
“Now, with his administration in free-fall, Donald Trump is flailing and melting down on national television, desperately clutching for conspiracy theories that have been debunked and dismissed by independent, credible news organizations,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield said.
On Thursday, Trump doubled down on his claim that Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, engaged in “crooked” business dealings with Ukraine and China.
“I would think that if they were honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump told a gaggle of reporters at the White House when asked if Ukraine should look into the allegations of corruption.
During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, 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 accusation that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine pending the country’s investigation into the Bidens has become a focal point in House Democrats’ formal impeachment inquiry.
Trump also 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 added. “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.”
“As Joe Biden forcefully said last night, the defining characteristic of Donald Trump’s presidency is the ongoing abuse of power,” Bedingfield said in response to the president’s claim. “What Donald Trump just said on the South Lawn of the White House was this election’s equivalent of his infamous ‘Russia, if you’re listening’ moment from 2016 — a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over the country.”
“It could not be more transparent: Donald Trump is terrified that Joe Biden will beat him like a drum,” she concluded.
Trump made a remark during the 2016 campaign that he said was meant as a joke, appealing to Russia to locate his opponent Hillary Clinton’s tens of thousands of emails from her controversial private server.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at the time. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”