Tim Kaine Attacks Donald Trump's Foreign Ties: 'Something Strange Is Going On'
"Something strange is going on," said Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate.
— -- Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine hit GOP nominee Donald Trump for his failure to disclose his foreign business deals and debts, painting them as a possible national security risk.
Kaine made the remarks in a lengthy attack of Trump today during a speech in Erie, Pennsylvania. Kaine focused the speech on hitting Trump for his refusal to release his tax returns, disclose his medical health records and reveal his debts and foreign business dealings.
"This past March at a Republican debate, Trump was talking about his business acumen. And he said that he is the midst of making about 120 foreign deals -- 120 foreign deals. That’s 120 potential conflicts of interest, 120 opportunities for business elsewhere or governments elsewhere to influence what he might do as president,” Kaine said.
While Kaine’s running mate, Hillary Clinton, has faced controversy regarding foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, Kaine described Trump’s dealings with Russia and China as problematic. He described a New York Times report about Trump’s debts to China.
“He is also more in debt including to the state owned Bank of China. Now, Donald will say he’s going to hold China to account. How can he do that when his accounts to China are in the red?” Kaine said.
Kaine pivoted to connecting Trump to Russia, citing statements made by members of the Trump family about business dealings in Russia as well as Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who resigned from the campaign after controversy arose about his ties to Russia and pro-Kemlin forces in Ukraine.
"As long as he keeps hiding his tax returns, we have no idea how he might stand to profit from Russia or what they might be holding over him. All we know is that something strange is going on,” Kaine said.
Kaine asked if Trump would stand up to cyberattacks from Russia, particularly ones that interfered in the United States' electoral process. The question flipped a narrative floated on the trail by Trump that a Clinton victory in November could signal the election was “rigged.”
"And just imagine if Russia were to engage in a cyberattack to destabilize the American electoral process, as it has done with other nations. Would President Trump stand up to them?” Kaine asked. "We actually know the answer to that one already, because Trump has publicly encouraged Russia to commit espionage and hack his political rivals."
Kaine added, "He’s encouraged Russia to already get in and screw around with our elections. And his close confidant Roger Stone says that he is contact with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the group that’s helping spread stolen information including stolen information from the United States."
Kaine also gave a spirited defense of Clinton’s health -- a subject called into question by Trump and his surrogate Rudy Giuliani in recent weeks.
"Can I give you an up close and personal on this?” Kaine asked the audience of more than 300 people. "She has been running on full speed for 17 months. I can tell you, Hillary Clinton is one tough and one healthy person. Very, very tough, and very, very healthy."
Kaine said that Trump himself was the candidate who seemed to have something to hide, referencing an NBC interview with Trump's doctor who claimed he wrote a note praising Trump's health in five minutes.
"The Trump campaign just feels like Trump’s next big con," Kaine said. "He’s hiding his tax return, he’s hiding his financial bill of health, he’s trying to cover up his web of foreign engagements and conflicts of interest. And he won’t even release credible information about his health."
"Donald Trump, it's time for you to come clean," Kaine said.