Trump reportedly brought up Biden and Warren with China in June, gave Xi a pass on Hong Kong

President Trump
(Image credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump publicly asked China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on Thursday, but he has also privately discussed both Biden and 2020 Democratic co-frontrunner Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with Chinese President Xi Jinping, CNN reports. In a June 18 call with Xi, Trump brought up the political prospects of both Warren and Biden, CNN reports, citing two people familiar with the discussion. "In that call, Trump also told Xi he would remain quiet on Hong Kong protests as trade talks progressed." Financial Times had a similar report in July.

On Twitter, Warren brushed off whatever Trump said about her.

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The transcript of the Xi call was stored in the same classified codeword server used to irregularly store Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky, CNN says. The whistleblower complaint concerning that call prompted the discovery that Trump aides are using the system to store politically sensitive Trump communications, not just national security secrets, and it also pushed the House to start an impeachment process. China, like Ukraine, says it does not want to get enmeshed in U.S. domestic politics.

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Trump's National Security Council and the State Department are also reportedly frustrated that Trump hasn't denounced China's crackdown on pro-democracy activists who have held weekly protests in Hong Kong for months. On Tuesday, when Hong Kong police shot a teenager in the chest with live ammunition, Trump focused on the other big event in China, tweeting: "Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China!"

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.