The internet is a-buzz with allegations that Trump pressured, or urged, China to investigate the Bidens. They are referencing a minute and fifteen second clip on C-CSPAN where he answers a question from the press.
Here is the clip:
I have transcribed his exact words, including his verbal cues, and will break it down here.
What exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly.-Reporter
Well, I would think that if they were honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer.
This is not another attempt at coercion. This is a typical speech pattern that the President has exhibited in past answers, speeches and press conferences.
“If they were honest about it…” Could be considered a challenge to President Zelensky, since the Ukrainian president ran on a platform of combating corruption. It could also be a typical speech pattern that the President has used in other oratories.
This type of rhetoric is also what a lot of people do during a normal conversation when they are asked what they think someone should do. We often put ourselves in other people’s places when putting forth a hypothetical answer.
Uh, they should investigate the Bidens, because how does a company that’s newly formed and all these companies, if you look at -and by the way likewise China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened to China is just about as bad as what happened with, uh, with Ukraine.Trump
Hunter, Joe, and Burisma
President Trump starts out by referencing the Biden family in regards to Burisma. He asserts Hunter did not know anything about energy and that the company was newly formed.
Bloomberg says that Burisma was formed in 2002.
Hunter was hired in May 2014.
His father Joe became Vice-President in 2009.
Being nit-picky, one could say that a company that was established in 2002 isn’t new in 2014, but I am not going into all the details as this is not the topic of the article.
There is also a split-decision on whether Hunter had any experience upon his hiring at Burisma, with some sources saying he did not and others saying he was hired on his merits.
As I have already covered the link between Ukraine and the former Vice-President here, I will not repeat it in this article.
What Happened in China?
An in-depth reporting of this web of controversy can be found here. If I were to go into the details, it would require another article completely.
So I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens, because nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked.Trump
This is another hypothetical response. It is not forcing anyone to do anything.
His assertion of the Bidens being “crooked” can be attributed to the video I linked in a previous article.
That was their crooked deal, 100 percent. He had no knowledge of energy, didn’t know the first thing about it. All of the sudden, he’s getting $50,000 a month plus a lot of other things.Trump
Again, there is no concrete proof of Hunter not having any expertise in energy.
Going further, one could say he was hired on his merits due to his experience in running the firm listed in the NY Post article.
Though, that could be refuted as well, seeing the firms ties to people of suspicious motivations.
Nobody has any doubt, and they got rid of a prosecutor, who was a very tough prosecutor. They got rid of him.Trump
This is alluding to the video in which Biden bragged about withholding promised loans until the prosecutor was fired.
Now they’re trying to make it the opposite way, but they got rid-. So if I were the president, I would certainly recommend that of Ukraine.Trump
This could be him stating the fact the press, as well as politicians, are trying to draw attention away from the former Vice-President’s dealings with Ukraine. “So, if I were the president…” is another hypothetical statement, not him urging or coercing Zelensky into anything.
Recommendations are not, by nature, something to pressure or force people into anything. They are suggestions at best.
My Two Cents
This is another attempt, from the press and people in the political sphere, to blow something innocuous out of proportion to paint Trump in a negative light.
Could some say this is an attempt to knock down a political rival? Yes, that could be said, but hypothetical statements and recommendations aren’t concrete in their telling.
In this politically charged area heading into the 2020 elections, it is clear that Trump must choose his words carefully. However, I don’t think he is the type to tone down his rhetoric to allay suspicions. At this point, I don’t it matters what he says. He will be demonized for it.
Anissa “Maddy” Walker
I am a freelance writer and transcriber. If you wish to hire me for those services, my fees can be found here.