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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

In a Washington Post op-ed Saturday night, Joe Biden addressed the mounting storm over President Trump's calls for Ukraine and now China to investigate him and his son, condemning the president for "using the highest office in the land to advance his personal political interests instead of the national interest."

Why it matters: Much has been made about how Biden would respond to the Trump-Ukraine scandal, which has sparked an impeachment inquiry 13 months before the 2 candidates could potentially face off in the 2020 presidential election. Biden repeated a common refrain — that he intends to "beat [Trump] like a drum" next year — and added that while "the House does its job on impeachment," he'll continue campaigning "to ensure that the United States is once again the leader of the free world."

Key excerpts:

  • "Our first president, George Washington, famously could not tell a lie. President Trump seemingly cannot tell the truth — about anything. He slanders anyone he sees as a threat. That is why he is frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me and my family, no doubt hoping to undermine my candidacy for the presidency."
  • "We now know he has abused the foreign policy of the United States in an attempt to extract political favors from multiple countries. ... This isn’t just an academic exercise in political theory. A president who puts his self-interest ahead of the public good and the nation’s security poses a threat to the daily lives of every American."
  • "[T]o Trump and those who facilitate his abuses of power, and all the special interests funding his attacks against me: Please know that I’m not going anywhere. You won’t destroy me, and you won’t destroy my family. And come November 2020, I intend to beat you like a drum."

Go deeper ... Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.