Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on ABC's “This Week” on Sunday that he doesn't think President Trump was serious when he said last week that China should launch an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, suggesting that it was an attempt to get the press "all spun up."

The exchange:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "Threshold question. Do you think it is appropriate for President Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?"
JORDAN: "George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China's going to investigate the Biden family?"
STEPHANOPOULOS: "He said it right there in public."
JORDAN: "I think Senator Rubio said it a couple of days ago. I think he's getting the press all spun up about this. Remember, this is the president who's been tougher on China than any other president. ... He was just making a statement to just underscore how wrong it is what took place here with Hunter Biden getting these deals that he got."

The big picture: Trump's comments on the South Lawn of the White House appeared to mark yet another instance of the president publicly calling for a foreign power to investigate one of his top political rivals. Republicans have yet to present a unified defense of the remarks, which — unlike the Ukraine call that has sparked an impeachment inquiry — happened in public.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took a similar approach to Jordan when asked about the comments last week, telling reporters: "I don't know if that's a real request or him just needling the press knowing that you guys are going to get outraged by it."
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also said on CBS' "Face the Nation": "I doubt if the China comment was serious, to tell you the truth. ... I don't know what the president was thinking, but I know he loves to bait the press, and he does that almost every day." 

Go deeper: Second Ukraine whistleblower has "firsthand knowledge" of Trump allegations

Go deeper

8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.