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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Lindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Senators push Pentagon on Syria strategy after withdrawal uproar, Soleimani strike MORE (R-Utah) on Friday broke sharply with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE's call for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment 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 SasseCommerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  The 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 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 SchiffTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Schiff says Justice Roberts should rule on witnesses Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line 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 GiulianiParnas says he has turned over tape of Trump calling for diplomat's firing Pompeo explodes at NPR reporter, asks if she could find Ukraine on a map ABC: Recording apparently captures Trump discussing Yovanovitch ouster with Parnas, Fruman 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.