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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyEx-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress Five takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner MORE (R-Utah) on Friday broke sharply with President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE's call for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits 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 SasseBen SasseKinzinger: GOP 'certainly not united' on 'vision for the future' Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Trump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars 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 SchiffBiden holds off punishing Saudi crown prince, despite US intel Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Democrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing 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 GiulianiSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug NAACP president accuses Trump of having operated under 'white supremacist doctrine' 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.