'You really think he was serious?': Rep. Jim Jordan on Trump's comments on China

Rep. Jim Jordan is one of several Republicans defending the president

October 6, 2019, 12:48 PM

Rep. Jim Jordan refused to say if he thought President Donald Trump's recent comments encouraging China to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son were appropriate on ABC's "This Week," claiming that the president wasn't serious.

"You really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family?" Jordan asked in response to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos' question.

"I think Sen. (Marco) Rubio said it a couple days ago, he's getting the press all spun up about this," he added. "Remember, this is the president who's been tougher on China than any other president."

Departing the White House on Thursday, Trump responded to a question asking what he hoped the president of Ukraine would do about the Bidens after the July phone call which is now at the center of the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Trump responded, "It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens. … Likewise China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine."

On "This Week" Sunday, Jordan repeatedly refused to answer when pressed him multiple times on whether Trump's asking China to investigate the Bidens was appropriate.

"So should I conclude from that that you don't think it would be appropriate for the president to ask China to investigate the Bidens?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"I'm just telling you what the statement is. You asked me about the statement," Jordan responded. "I don't think anyone in America really believes -- except people maybe in the press and some Democrats in Congress really believe that the president of the United States thinks China is going to investigate."

Asked again about the clip of the president's words on Thursday, Stephanopoulos said, "You're telling us not to believe what we see with our own eyes, right there."

Jordan responded, "You're telling me the guy who's been tougher on China really thinks that's going to happen? It's not going to happen."

"We have been going 10 minutes," Stephanopoulos said to Jordan at the end of the interview. "You still can't say whether you think it's right or wrong."

Jordan replied, "Well, I don't think it's going to happen. ... I just don't think that's what the president was really saying."

On the phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, Jordan said he thought Trump was trying to make sure there was no corruption in a country that the U.S. gives military aide.

"I think that's the president doing his job," he said.

Asked by Stephanopoulos if Trump has called on any foreign leaders to investigate corruption did that did not involve one of his political rivals, Jordan did not respond.

PHOTO: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for a closed-door interview of Kurt Volker at the Capitol, Oct. 3, 2019.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for a closed-door interview of Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, with House investigators, as House Democrats proceed with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol, Oct. 3, 2019.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

During his appearance on "This Week," Jordan also touched on former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker's testimony on the whistleblower complaint before the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees behind closed doors Thursday.

"We heard from the ambassador for hours this Thursday and the ambassador told us there was no quid pro quo, there was no linkage between any type of any security assistance money and any type of investigation," Jordan said. "The ambassador was clear."

Texts released by House Democrats following Volker's testimony suggest that the Trump administration pushed for Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

When asked about them, Jordan said Volker told them "exactly the opposite."

"This is Adam Schiff's partisan and unfair process that he's going through, releasing selective texts," he added. "Why doesn't he release the whole transcript?"

Republicans, including Jordan, have been calling for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to release the transcript since Thursday.

In a separate interview on "This Week," House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said, "we will see what happens moving forward, but I have full confidence in Chairman Schiff," when asked about releasing the transcript.

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