One of President Donald Trump’s top trade advisers on China on Thursday refused to answer any direct questions about whether former Vice President Joe Biden came up during President Trump’s trade negotiations with China.
Asked the question repeatedly by CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Thursday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said, “you don’t have the right to know what happens behind closed doors in the administration.”
Sciutto pushed back, however, insisting, “the American people have a right to know if politics have entered trade negotiations.”
Navarro never directly addressed the TV host’s straightforward question, instead, he chose to attack the media.
“The problem that I’ve seen over the last three years in Washington is that there are too many stories reported based on anonymous sources,” he said, adding that Sciutto’s inquiry “was not an appropriate question, in my judgment.”
“I’m asking you a direct question: Did you bring up investigating the Bidens as part of the negotiations?” Sciutto replied.
But Navarro deflected again, saying: “You’re asking me about what happens in the White House behind closed doors in negotiations.”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 24, 2019
On October 3, Trump urged China on camera to look into Joe Biden over his false belief that the former vice president somehow took billions of dollars out of the country.
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump told reporters that day.
CNN has previously reported that Trump mentioned Biden’s political prospects during a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 18, and told the leader he would keep quiet about the protests roiling Hong Kong.