Sasse breaks with Trump's call for probe: 'Americans don't look to Chinese commies for the truth'

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial MORE (R-Neb.) pushed back strongly on Thursday night against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE's suggestion that the Chinese government investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE and his son, Hunter Biden.
 
"Hold up: Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth. If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps," Sasse said in a statement to the Omaha World-Herald.
 
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A spokesman for Sasse didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
Sasse's remarks mark the strongest pushback from a Senate Republican since Trump on Thursday publicly encouraged Ukraine and China should look into the Bidens.
 
"China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said in front of cameras on the South Lawn of the White House.
 
The president added that he had not explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open an investigation, but that it’s “certainly something we can start thinking about.”
 
Sasse's Senate GOP colleagues have largely been silent about Trump's rhetoric as they've been scattered across the country as part of a two-week recess.
 
 
Trump's suggestion to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he investigate the Bidens and a related whistleblower complaint have fueled the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. 
 
Sasse, who is up for reelection next year, also knocked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Democrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one MORE's (D-Calif.) handling of the House investigation, comparing it to a "partisan clown show in the House."
 
"That’s his right because the Constitution doesn’t prohibit clown shows, but fortunately, in the Senate, we're working to follow the facts one step at a time," Sasse said. 
 
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which Sasse is a member of, is running a separate investigation into the whistleblower complaint tied to Trump's actions toward Ukraine. 
 
Sasse previously said the whistleblower complaint contained "real troubling things" and that Republicans "ought not just circle the wagons."