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

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (R-Maine) said on Saturday it was "completely inappropriate" for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE to urge China to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report Sunday shows preview: As coronavirus spreads in the U.S., officials from each sector of public life weigh in Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' 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 Obama adviser Plouffe predicts 'historical level' of turnout by Trump supporters Poll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Whoopi Goldberg presses Sanders: 'Why are you still in the race?' 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 SasseAmerica's governors should fix unemployment insurance Mnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus House Republican urges Pompeo to take steps to limit misinformation from China on coronavirus 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 SchiffTrump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint MORE (D-Calif.) for running a "partisan clown show in the House."
 
Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans 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.