China rejects Trump call to investigate Bidens

China on Tuesday rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE's call for Beijing to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Trump: Giuliani to deliver report on Ukraine trip to Congress, Barr MORE and his son, saying it has no desire to impose itself in U.S. domestic affairs. 

“China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the South China Morning Post

“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear.”

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While speaking with reporters last week, Trump stepped up his effort to place Biden under scrutiny, calling on both Ukraine and China to look for dirt on the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden. 

“I would say that [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend they start an investigation into the Bidens. Because nobody doubts they weren't crooked," Trump said, before encouraging China to "start an investigation into the Bidens."

The president noted that he hadn't explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open an investigation. But he said that it is “certainly something we can start thinking about.”

The comments come amid a House impeachment inquiry into the president in the wake of revelations about his effort to enlist Ukraine's help in his 2020 reelection campaign. A whistleblower complaint, which was declassified last month, accuses Trump of pressuring the new Ukrainian president to work with his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump: Giuliani to deliver report on Ukraine trip to Congress, Barr Trump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls Giuliani draws attention with latest trip to Ukraine MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump: Giuliani to deliver report on Ukraine trip to Congress, Barr 'Project Guardian' is the effective gun law change we need Supreme Court denies Trump request to immediately resume federal executions MORE to investigate the Bidens over unfounded allegations of corruption. 

A publicly disclosed White House memo of the leaders' July 25 phone conversation verifies several key components of the complaint. 

The president's public comments regarding China prompted widespread backlash from Democratic lawmakers. Joe Biden's campaign immediately issued a rebuke of Trump's remarks, saying they represented "a grotesque choice of lies over truth and self over country."

Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub also reiterated that "it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election."

Many GOP lawmakers, however, have dismissed the seriousness of Trump's public call for foreign nations to investigate a political rival.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements MORE (R-Fla.) suggested that Trump was joking, saying that he couldn't tell if it was a "real request" or part of an effort to get the media "outraged by it."