Yesterday, we asked the question of why on earth Trump would publicly ask the Chinese to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, particularly when he was under the microscope of a literal impeachment inquiry for doing the same thing in a phone call with the president of the Ukraine. Today, we may have the answer: It’s possible he knew that more dirt on his relationship with China was coming, and he was trying to get ahead of it in the only blundering way he knows how.
On Thursday and Friday, details emerged of a second phone call in June, this one with Chinese president Xi Jinping, and the transcript of said call was secreted away in a “secured electronic system” just like the President Zelensky call. Per 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.
Here was White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s response:
“World leaders need to be able to speak freely in their conversations with the President—that is a key component to effective diplomacy. And that is why such conversations are kept confidential. We are not going to start discussing the contents of every conversation President Trump has with world leaders, other than to say his conversations are always appropriate.”
Others clearly disagreed:
It’s probably only a matter of time until we see this transcript, and while Trump’s silence on the protests in exchange for trade cooperation is probably only abominable on an ethical level, and not a legal one, any overtures he made regarding a Biden investigation could add fuel to the impeachment fire.