Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) repeatedly denied on Sunday that President Donald Trump was serious about his public call for China to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, despite the fact that he proposed the idea on camera.
During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” Jordan dodged multiple questions over whether it is appropriate for the president to seek assistance from a foreign government in probing his political rival, claiming it was just the media being “all spun up” about it.
“I don’t think he really meant go investigate,” he told host George Stephanopoulos. “Do you think China is going to investigate him?”
“I don’t know if China is going to investigate him,” Stephanopoulos replied. “I know the president asked China to investigate him.”
Though there is now an escalating impeachment inquiry into the president ― fueled by evidence that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July to investigate Biden and his son over unsubstantiated corruption allegations ― Jordan asserted that he knows China won’t take part.
Stephanopoulos again pushed the congressman to answer the question.
“Why can’t you answer yes or no, do you think it’s appropriate?” he asked.
“Because I don’t think that’s what he did,” Jordan said. “I don’t think that’s what he did.”
As Trump left the White House on Thursday on his way to Florida, he told reporters, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”
There was no sign he was joking, and Trump has made no remarks indicating it was not a genuine suggestion.
There remains no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens, though Trump allies like Jordan have continued to support the president despite the release of a whistleblower complaint that has roiled the White House.
The report, which was filed by a member of the intelligence community in August, cites Trump’s contact with Ukraine as a proof he “is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
On Sunday, Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s attorney, confirmed on Twitter that he and his legal team are representing “multiple whistleblowers in connection” with the complaint.