Susan Rice defends Biden, says Trump tried to 'extort Ukrainians for political benefit'

Susan Rice defends Biden, says Trump tried to 'extort Ukrainians for political benefit'

Former national security adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday defended the actions Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE took as vice president to "root out corruption" in Ukraine, calling him a "man of integrity" who was doing the business of the U.S. government when he pushed for the ouster of a top prosecutor in the country. 

"What Donald Trump is doing so effectively is taking his own greatest vulnerability, which is the perception that he is corrupt, and his children are corrupt, and trying to turn it into his opponent’s greatest weakness," Rice, an Obama administration official, said on ABC's "The View" while discussing the accusations Trump and the GOP have leveled at the Democratic presidential candidate. 

"Joe Biden is a man of integrity, whether you agree with him or not. ... He was doing the business of the United States government based on bipartisan policy, in concert with our European allies to try to work to root out corruption in Ukraine," she added. "What President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE did is try to extort the Ukrainians for his own personal political benefit. There is a huge difference there. And I think the American people are intelligent enough to see that."

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Trump and his allies in the GOP have attempted to cast Biden as corrupt over his efforts as vice president to dismiss a top prosecutor in Ukraine who was investigating an energy company that his son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board of. 

There is no evidence that suggests Biden was working to dismiss the prosecutor with his son's interests in mind. 

A whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community and declassified last month accuses Trump of mounting a broad effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Biden family. Among other things, the complaint alleges that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to work with some of his aides to investigate the Bidens. 

A White House memo of the phone conversation confirms several key components of the complaint, including Trump's request. 

Revelations regarding Trump's interactions with Ukraine prompted House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. Joe Biden on Wednesday came out in support of impeachment, telling a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire that Trump "has violated his oath of office."

Trump and several GOP lawmakers have repeatedly dismissed charges that the president's conversation with Zelensky represented an impeachable offense. After Biden voiced support for the effort, Trump tweeted that "Joe’s Failing Campaign gave him no other choice!"