Comes as Trump also reportedly promised silence on Hong Kong protests to China’s President Xi Jinping
Washington (October 16, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee, and Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter today to President Donald Trump lambasting him for encouraging China to interfere in the American electoral process by investigating his political rivals. In remarks to reporters on October 3, 2019, Trump called for China to investigate Hunter Biden’s business affiliations, even as the intelligence community warns of Chinese interference in the 2020 U.S. elections. Previously, then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats predicted increased interference in U.S. elections and Vice President Mike Pence warned of Chinese efforts to influence U.S. elections and public opinion. President Trump reportedly promised his silence on the Hong Kong protests to Chinese President Xi in a June 18, 2019 call. In the letter sent today, Senators Markey, Udall, and Merkley also decried Trump’s comments as potentially providing an opening for President Xi to further attack freedoms of expression, assembly, and the press.
“This invitation to a foreign government to interfere in the American election process not only violates your oath of office, but also undermines that very values for which this country stands,” write the Senators in the letter to President Trump. “In making these comments, you lent credence to unsubstantiated claims where there has been no law enforcement or judicial action, and gave the leader of the Chinese Communist Party your tacit approval to insert itself into the 2020 presidential election. This amounts to an abuse of power.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.