The Hill, just wow:
President Trump on Thursday publicly encouraged both China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son amid growing concerns over how Trump has used his position to pressure foreign governments to look into his political rivals.
“I would think that if they were honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked what he wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to do about the Bidens following the July 25 call between the two leaders…
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said before departing for an executive order signing in Florida.
The president, whose administration is negotiating with China to resolve a trade dispute, said he had not explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open an investigation, but that it’s “certainly something we can start thinking about.”
The intent here is obviously to normalize the idea that a sitting President can ask foreign governments to attack his political rivals in the middle of high-stakes negotiations (or in the case of Ukraine, freezing millions in foreign aid), and even though that is a crime under federal law if Trump just up and does it in front of news cameras it is somehow acceptable. And just in case you were wondering whether China is even a little bit interested in taking Donald Trump up on his request:
A Chinese diplomat suggested that China is not likely to be interested in investigating Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, as President Trump suggested today.
“We do not want to get in the middle of the US politics,” the diplomat said. [Pols emphasis]
Before this is over, President Trump may wish he’d said the same. In 2015.
As Sen. Cory Gardner has said, “I think the President is going to continue to do what the President is going to continue to do.”