Oct 13, 2019

Cruz: "Of course" it's inappropriate for Trump to ask China to investigate Bidens

Asked whether it's appropriate for President Trump to suggest China investigate the Biden family, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CBS' Margaret Brennan: "Of course not. Elections in the U.S. should be decided by Americans, and it's not the business of foreign countries, any foreign countries, to be interfering in our elections."

BRENNAN: China is a surveillance state. Is it appropriate for President Trump to be saying China should look into the Biden family?
CRUZ: Of course not. Elections in the U.S. should be decided by Americans, and it's not the business of foreign countries, any foreign countries, to be interfering in our elections.
BRENNAN: Even Ukraine? When you're talking about some of this, do you think that, say the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who's been talking about China, who's been talking about Ukraine, do you want to hear him testify about this sort of shadow foreign policy?
CRUZ: Listen, foreign countries should stay out of American elections. That's true for Russia, that's true for Ukraine, that's true for China, that's true for all of them. It should be the American people deciding elections. I don't know what Rudy's been saying. I do know though that we should decide our elections. It should be the American people making those decisions.

The big picture: Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House earlier this month that China should investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated corruption allegations, leaving Republicans scrambling over how to respond. While some have called the request inappropriate, others have suggested it was a joke — despite no indication from the White House that it was.

  • Trump made a similar request of the Ukrainian government, which led to Democrats launching a formal impeachment inquiry.

Cruz said he believes that Giuliani, who has helped lead the campaign to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, should accept Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) invitation to testify before the committee.

  • Asked whether the Justice Department should investigate the Bidens, Cruz said he believes they should if there's "credible evidence of a violation of law."
  • He also added that the Trump administration should release the transcripts of Joe Biden's conversations with Ukraine while he was vice president, much like the White House released a summary of Trump's call with Ukraine's president.
  • "Use the same standards and let the American people read the transcripts and decide," Cruz said.

Between the lines: Cruz and Trump have a complex relationship. While the 2016 GOP runner-up famously refused to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention for attacking his family, Cruz has overall been a consistent Trump ally and defender throughout Trump's presidency.

Go deeper: What matters most in the Trump-Ukraine scandal

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.