Romney: Trump requesting Biden investigation from China, Ukraine 'wrong and appalling'

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation Pelosi, Democrats press case for mail-in voting amid Trump attacks MORE (R-Utah) on Friday broke sharply with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Brazil surpasses Russia with second-highest coronavirus case count in the world Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE's call for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden COVID-19 makes Trump's work with black Americans that much harder MORE, calling it "wrong and appalling." 
 
"When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated," Romney said in a statement, which he also tweeted out.  
The day before, Trump floated to reporters outside of the White House that the two countries should probe Biden, the Democratic 2020 front-runner, and his son, Hunter Biden, even as House Democrats work on an impeachment inquiry centered on allegations that Trump sought to withhold aid to Ukraine as an effort to get Kiev to launch a probe.
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"China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said in front of cameras on the South Lawn.
 
The president added that he had not explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to open such a probe, but that it’s “certainly something we can start thinking about.”
 
Most Republicans, who are currently scattered across the country for a two-week recess, have remained silent on Trump publicly suggesting that foreign governments investigate a potential 2020 rival. 
 
But Romney is part of a small group of Republicans who have spoken out this week, though none have backed the impeachment inquiry against Trump. 
 
Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseHillicon Valley: Lawmakers demand answers on Chinese COVID hacks | Biden re-ups criticism of Amazon | House Dem bill seeks to limit microtargeting Lawmakers ask for briefings on Chinese targeting of coronavirus research On The Money: GOP senators heed Fed chair's call for more relief | Rollout of new anti-redlining laws spark confusion in banking industry | Nearly half of American households have lost employment income during pandemic MORE (R-Neb.), in a statement on Thursday night, said "Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth," while also knocking House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGrenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts Democrats call for probe into ouster of State Dept. watchdog GOP lawmakers say they don't want to put Steve King back on committees MORE (D-Calif.) for running a "partisan clown show in the House."
 
 
Romney's comments on Trump asking for the Chinese government to investigate the Bidens come as he also voiced concerns about the phone call where Trump asked the Ukrainian government to help his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Moussaoui says he now renounces terrorism, bin Laden Democrats launch probe into Trump's firing of State Department watchdog, Pompeo MORE, look into the issue. There's been no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden. 
 
"I did read the transcript. It remains troubling in the extreme. It's deeply troubling," Romney told reporters last week. "Clearly what we've seen from the transcript itself is deeply troubling."
 
Romney became one of the first GOP senators to raise concerns about the phone call. The public questioning earned him mockery from the president, who tweeted out a video comparing Romney's failed 2012 presidential bid with his own victory four years later.