Raskin prods GOP with signs linking Trump and Xi at China hearing

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) took a jab at former President Trump over his past remarks about Chinese President Xi Jinping, showing a “Trump ❤️ Xi” poster during a hearing Wednesday.

“The enemies of constitutional democracy and freedom seek to destabilize the American government. The tyrants of the world are targeting Joe Biden and promoting Donald Trump, who has fondly described President Xi as a ‘brilliant man,’ who has called Vladimir Putin a ‘genius’ and who has said he fell in love with Kim Jong Un,” Raskin said during his opening statement for a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing.

Wednesday’s hearing was focused on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and any threats it poses to the U.S.

While Raskin delivered the remarks, staffers behind him held up signs, one of which said “Trump [heart emoji] Xi” and included a quote from Trump in April 2023 that said, “President Xi is a brilliant man. If you went all over Hollywood to look for somebody to play the role of President Xi, you couldn’t find it. There’s nobody like that. The look, the brain, the whole thing.”

On another sign behind Raskin, a picture of the 2019 Hong Kong protests was shown, in which police appeared to be hitting demonstrators with batons. The text below the picture reads, “Former President Donald Trump: President Xi acted ‘very responsibly’ during Hong Kong ‘riots,'” in reference to a comment Trump made while president in 2019 around the time of the protests.

“While Donald Trump has described President Xi as a very good man, China is in fact, an authoritarian police state and violator of human rights and civil liberties of hundreds of millions of people,” Raskin said. “President Xi has persecuted, incarcerated and oppressed the Tibetans, the Uyghurs and the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

Trump’s comments regarding Xi and other foreign leaders have been criticized at times by Democrats and even some Republicans as being too friendly toward authoritarian leadership. He came under fire last year from his former Vice President Mike Pence and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, both of whom repeatedly targeted their former boss’s comments while on the GOP presidential campaign trail.

“Praising dictators is not normal. Make America normal again,” Haley wrote on the social platform X last February, in response to Trump describing Xi as a “very good friend.”

Both Pence and Haley have since suspended their GOP presidential campaigns, and Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Raskin later attempted to contrast Trump’s attitude toward China with that of the Biden administration.

“While Donald Trump has proclaimed that he and Xi loved each other, the Biden-Harris administration has responded forcefully to the political security and economic challenges posed by the CCP. As Secretary [Antony] Blinken put it, the U.S. relationship with China is the biggest geopolitical test of this century. The Biden administration has shored up our democratic institutions to withstand attacks from autocrats and strengthen our [alliances] with democracies, both in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.”

Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, railed against Raskin’s move at the hearing.

“Jamie Raskin is another China-loving CCP puppet who continues to sell out America like Joe Biden has. The fact is that China has grown stronger under a weak Biden presidency, and our allies are even more in danger as China builds up its economic and military power,” Cheung wrote in a statement to The Hill. “Deadly Chinese fentanyl continues to flow into American communities killing scores of people while illegal Chinese migrants are the fastest growing group crossing the Southern Border. There is only one person who can stop that from happening: Donald J. Trump.”

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