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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

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.