Unbelievable, and yet all-too believable.
Let’s be very clear. Trump will use the entire might of the United States to hold hostage any nation he chooses, all to entice that nation into harming Trump’s political opponents.
The China reference that Trump made on the South Lawn today was not the first time that Trump talked Biden with Chinese President Xi. From CNN:
During a phone call with Xi on June 18, Trump raised Biden’s political prospects as well as those of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who by then had started rising in the polls, according to two people familiar with the discussion. In that call, Trump also told Xi he would remain quiet on Hong Kong protests as trade talks progressed.
The White House record of that call was later stored in the highly secured electronic system used to house a now-infamous phone call with Ukraine’s President and which helped spark a whistleblower complaint that’s led Democrats to open an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
That “leak” from the White House is oddly worded. Trump discussed “Biden’s political ‘prospects,’ as well as Elizabeth Warren.” “Political prospects” can only be taken to mean whether or not Biden could win the election, how much support could he garner, or whether he was a flawed candidate. Why would the president talk Biden’s “political prospects” with a foreign leader?
But that isn’t the really odd part in my mind. The odd part is that right after the leakers noted that Trump discussed Trump’s two opponents’ “political prospects,” Trump promised to “remain quiet on Hong Kong.”
Why was that leaked in that manner? Are we to infer that within the discussion about “Biden’s political prospects,” President Xi made some assurance to Trump, in exchange for which Trump would “remain quiet on Hong Kong”? Did they do each other “favors”?
We don’t know. We do not know, in part, because the conversation made its way to the ultra secret “codeword clearance” server, normally reserved for the most sensitive national intelligence issues.
And then there was today, when, as we noted earlier, Trump flat asked for a Chinese “favor” in broad daylight in front of reporters. Is Trump preparing the nation for hearing that Trump had already asked for an investigation? Because as of today, we’re hearing more and more that Trump believes he has something with the China-Biden angle:
Privately, Trump has been telling allies over the past week he believes Hunter Biden’s activities in China to be potentially more damaging than his business in Ukraine.“That’s not the best one. The best one was China,” Trump said at a private event in New York last week after going on a screed about the unfounded claims involving the Bidens and Ukraine.
China is the new Ukraine.
And Trump made the “ask” right out in the open.
We cannot wait much longer to remove this man from office. He is selling the foreign policy of the United States to the highest bidder, a bidder willing to fabricate evidence on Trump’s political rival.
It is time for Republicans to turn on this man. After all, as I just asked on Twitter, what makes Republicans think that Trump hasn’t collected dirt on them, and would use it if needed, down the road? There are some, McConnell and Graham, whom one could be forgiven for believing it might already have happened.
Our executive branch is a criminal enterprise. Trump’s business always has been.
It's also very clear there is more than enough evidence right now to draft Articles of Impeachment. https://t.co/rxPOpbEipQ
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 4, 2019