President Donald Trump's suggestion Thursday that China should investigate Joe Biden and his son was not the first time he injected the former vice president into his relationship with Beijing, CNN reported.
During a phone call with China's communist party leaders Xi Jinping on June 18, Trump raised Biden's political prospects as well as those of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., CNN reported, citing two unnamed sources.
The White House record of the call was later stored in the same highly secured electronic system used to house a phone call with Ukraine's president, and which helped spark a whistleblower complaint that has led Democrats to open an impeachment inquiry into Trump, CNN reported.
"World leaders need to be able to speak freely in their conversations with the president – that is a key component to effective diplomacy," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. "And that is why such conversations are kept confidential."
Trump's new remarks, however, appeared to confuse Chinese officials, CNN reported.
"This is quite chaotic," one Chinese diplomat told CNN. "We do not want to get in the middle of the U.S. politics."
On several occasions, Trump has suggested the Bidens have received millions of dollars from China, implying they capitalized on the then-vice president's political power and connections, CNN noted.
The allegations stem partly from an official trip both Bidens took to China in 2013, meant as a diplomatic mission to help ease tensions in the region. A company on whose board Hunter Biden sat received a large investment of Chinese capital shortly after the trip, CNN noted.
There is no evidence the former vice president received money from China, and last week one of Hunter Biden's lawyers told The Washington Post he had not received any "return or compensation on account of this investment or his position on the board of directors."
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