Collins: Trump's call for China to probe Biden 'completely inappropriate'

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator Collins says she's 'likely' to support calling witnesses for impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment MORE (R-Maine) said on Saturday it was "completely inappropriate" for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE to urge China to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE and his son Hunter Biden.

"I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get involved in investigating a political opponent. ... It’s completely inappropriate," Collins told the Bangor Daily News.
 
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Collins's comments came after Trump suggested to reporters outside the White House on Thursday that China and Ukraine should investigate the Bidens. 
 
"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.”
 
Collins — who is up for reelection in a state won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE in 2016 — is one of the few Republican senators who have publicly pushed back against Trump's comments. Most have remained silent as they are dispersed across the country and in the middle of a two-week recess. 
 
Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOn The Money: Senate panel advances Trump's new NAFTA despite GOP gripes | Trade deficit falls to three-year low | Senate confirms Trump pick for small business chief Senate panel advances Trump's new NAFTA despite GOP gripes Congress to clash over Trump's war powers MORE (R-Neb.) said in a statement on Thursday night that "Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth" but also knocked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Schiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Harris calls for Parnas to testify at Senate trial MORE (D-Calif.) for running a "partisan clown show in the House."
 
Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCollins says she's 'likely' to support calling witnesses for impeachment trial Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico MORE (R-Utah) pushed back forcefully on Thursday, calling Trump's rhetoric "wrong and appalling" and saying it "strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated."
 
Underscoring the risk for GOP senators who speak out against Trump, the president has spent the weekend lashing out at Romney, including calling him a "pompous 'ass'" and calling for his impeachment.
 
Trump's suggestion that China should investigate the Bidens comes as House Democrats are at the start of an impeachment inquiry centered on allegations that Trump sought to withhold aid to Ukraine in an effort to get Kiev to launch a probe.
 
Collins told the Maine publication that she had concerns that Schiff "misrepresented and misled people about what was in the transcript in the call," an apparent reference to the summary Schiff offered during a public hearing.
 
Schiff's portrayal has earned fierce criticism from Republicans, who are expected to force a vote on a resolution to censure him. Schiff said that his summary of Trump's phone call with the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was supposed to be partly a parody. 
 
No Senate Republican has backed an impeachment inquiry against the president, with several suggesting they think House Democrats are overplaying their hand.
 
Collins has previously declined to comment on impeachment and reiterated her position to the Bangor Daily News on Saturday. 
 
“Should the articles of impeachment come to the Senate — and right now I’m going to guess that they will — I will be acting as a juror as I did in the Clinton impeachment trial,” Collins said.