Tag: china
Former President Donald Trump

New Evidence That China Corrupted A President -- But It's Not Biden

After years of convoluted attempts by Republicans and right-wing media to somehow prove that China had compromised President Joe Biden via his son Hunter Biden’s business interests, Democrats revealed on Wednesday that China directed millions of dollars straight to Donald Trump’s businesses while he was serving as president.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee detailed the transactions in an extensive new report titled “White House for Sale: How Princes, Prime Ministers, and Premiers Paid Off President Trump.” Based on records obtained through litigation, the report finds that the government of China and two state-owned entities spent at least $5,572,548 at Trump Tower in New York City and the Trump International Hotels in Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, Nevada.

The report also finds that “the ability of Trump family businesses to secure trademarks in China improved markedly and rapidly after Trump entered office,” describes these payments and similar ones to Trump-owned businesses from other countries as unconstitutional “foreign emoluments,” and links the payments to how “Mr. Trump inexplicably took positions favorable to specific Chinese interests” as president.

As The New York Timesnoted in its writeup, “the transactions … offer concrete evidence that the former president engaged in the kind of conduct that House Republicans have labored, so far unsuccessfully, to prove that President Biden did as they work to build an impeachment case against him.”

Indeed, the right has tried to damage Biden’s political standing by suggesting that he had been compromised by foreign payments to his son’s businesses since at least 2018, when conservative activist Peter Schweizer tried to repeat his success in damaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign. While such claims have collapsed time and time again, they’ve nonetheless become the heart of Republicans’ ludicrous push to impeach Joe Biden.

They’ve also led right-wing media figures to offer comments that seem comically detached from reality given the direct payments detailed in the Democratic report. Commentators have cited payments to Hunter Biden’s businesses as evidence of “the real Biden crimes, potentially treasonous corruption charges after years of selling Joe Biden's power all over the world, including places like China,” said that “we have to know why and where is the president compromised” given that “more money is flowing into the Bidens' bank accounts from China than all the other countries,” and argued that if Joe Biden “can be compromised by the likes of China,” that would make “Watergate look like a smash-and-grab.”

The right’s inept efforts to paint Joe Biden as compromised by China

The insinuations in Schweizer’s book spawned major lines of attack from Rudy Giuliani, John Solomon, Sean Hannity, and other Trumpists that revolved around the bogus conspiracy theory that Joe Biden had taken corrupt action in Ukraine when he was vice president due to his son’s position with a Ukrainian company. Trump’s obsession with this falsehood led him to try to leverage U.S. military aid to Ukraine to get that country’s president to announce an investigation into the Bidens, yielding Trump’s first impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in 2019.

The attacks took on new urgency and refocused on Hunter Biden’s business interests in China in the waning days of the 2020 presidential campaign, when Trump and Fox tried to turn disgruntled former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski into a household name. Bobulinski had alleged that Joe Biden had met with him in 2017 as part of a joint business venture involving Bobulinski, Hunter Biden, and Chinese oil company CEFC China Energy Co.

Right-wing outlets desperately trumpeted the Bobulinski story even as less credulous reporting revealed that the venture reportedly “never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals” and corporate records “show no role for Joe Biden,” who denied any role in the business and was in any case neither in public office nor running for one at the time. And Bobulinski himself acknowledged that when they met, Joe Biden did not ask about the proposed deal.

The right’s Hunter Biden push failed to lift Trump to victory in 2020. But they responded with more of the same, spending the first years of Joe Biden’s administration trying to damage his political standing with similar attacks. And when Republicans won the House in 2022, they pledged to follow through with investigations into what Trumpists like Hannity termed the “Biden Crime Family.”

The House Republican investigations produced a series of reports detailing tangential issues to smear Joe Biden that soared on right-wing media outlets and crashed everywhere else.

In one particularly farcical case, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer alleged that a Hunter Biden business entity “made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden” after it “received payments from Chinese-state linked companies & other shady entities,” which purportedly proved that “Joe Biden knew & benefitted from his family's business schemes."

Fox host Jesse Watters, over onscreen text that read “China Paid Hunter’s Company, Who Then Paid Joe,” said this showed that “China, after being threatened by Hunter, wired millions of dollars to him, and then Hunter started sending his dad payments.” For Hannity, Comer had revealed that “not only did Joe Biden discuss his son's business ventures, but he also received direct payments from one of Hunter's corporations.”

In reality, Joe Biden took over many of his son’s expenses during a period when Hunter was in the depths of drug addiction and Joe Biden was out of office. That included buying his son a truck to use. Hunter Biden made three payments, each for $1,380, to repay his father for the initial payments on the truck before taking over future payments directly.

This was happening at the same time the Chinese government was trying to curry favor with Trump — the sitting president — by making payments directly to the companies he owned and that his sons oversaw. And those revelations from the House Democratic report are the tip of the iceberg as far as corruption during Trump’s presidency is concerned.

While Fox shills like Watters have been contorting the facts to declare Joe Biden is “a money laundering operation for foreign nationals,” they’ve curiously missed the massive influence peddling that happened right before their eyes. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that to change — as of posting, Fox had not mentioned the Democratic report.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Gal Luft

US Indicts Oversight Chairman's 'Very Credible Witness' As Chinese Agent

House GOP Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer‘s alleged FBI “whistleblower,” who he claimed just days ago was a “very credible witness on Biden family corruption,” despite having been missing for months, was just indicted on charges including “arms trafficking,” “Iranian sanctions violations,” and “conspir[ing] with others in an effort to act within the United States to advance the interests of the People’s Republic of China (China),” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

He is currently on the run, says a DOJ press release.

“According to court documents, Gal Luft, 57, is charged in an eight-count indictment with offenses related to willfully failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), arms trafficking, Iranian sanctions violations and making false statements to federal agents,” the press release states. “Luft was arrested on Feb. 17 in the Republic of Cyprus based on the charges in the indictment. Luft subsequently fled after being released on bail while extradition proceedings were pending and remains a fugitive.”

Some, including NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins are characterizing Luft with being charged as a “Chinese spy.”

“The ‘missing’ Hunter Biden witness the GOP was promising for a while there was just charged by the DOJ with being a Chinese spy,” Collins tweeted.

On Friday, Chairman Comer tweeted out a clip of his appearance on Newsmax, and wrote: “Gal Luft, a very credible witness on Biden family corruption, provided incriminating evidence to six officials from the FBI and the DOJ in a meeting in Brussels in March 2019. We have no reason to believe the FBI & DOJ acted on this info. Americans deserve answers.”

Comer told Newsmax that Gal Luft is “very credible, and the people on MSNBC who made fun of me when I said that we had an informant that was missing, they should feel like fools right now.”

“This is their worst nightmare, again, because this is a credible witness,” he continued.

Chairman Comer’s allegations attacking President Joe Biden and his family repeatedly have been baseless.

“Comer has so far failed to show how Biden may have benefited from the payments or how any alleged business dealings by relatives may have impacted Biden’s policy decisions,” TIME reported back in May. “He has repeatedly blamed stonewalling by the Biden Administration for why his investigation hasn’t gotten more traction.”

“We are hopeful that we can find the informant,” Comer told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “Now remember, these informants are kind of in the spy business, so they don’t make a habit of being seen a lot or being high profile or anything like that.”

Also Friday, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post editorial board ran a piece titled, “Media silence on key would-be witness Gal Luft’s Biden revelations speaks volumes.”

“The drip-drip-drip of evidence detailing the Biden family criminal enterprise has turned into a torrent,” it claimed.

Watch below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Jesse Watters

Advertisers Beware: Fox Slots Toxic Racist Watters Into Primetime Hour

Under immense pressure following a record defamation lawsuit, and with ratings down following the departure of Tucker Carlson, Fox News announced a new schedule with host Jesse Watters' show now airing at 8 p.m. ET. Advertisers should beware, given that the network appears to be lifting up the same extremism that led to its current crisis.

Starting in The O’Reilly Factor days with his “Watters’ World” segments, Jesse Watters honed his frat boy style with smug interviews mocking his subjects alongside blatant racism and sexism. In June 2015, Watters produced a cruel, dehumanizing segment shaming unhoused people in New York City’s Penn Station and stressing that they are breaking the law, juxtaposed against interviews with those who found homeless people to be a nuisance. He made a follow-up segment a month later, agreeing with host Bill O'Reilly at the end that people experiencing homelessness “shouldn't be allowed to destroy neighborhoods.” (Hosting his own Fox show in September 2022, Watters called homeless people “an invasive species.”)

In May 2016, it was made public that Watters had stalked and harassed journalist Amanda Terkel while she was on vacation seven years earlier, accusing her of “causing ‘pain and suffering’ to rape victims and their families” after she wrote a story that called out O’Reilly’s pattern of victim-blaming rape survivors. (O’Reilly was fired from Fox News in 2017 following years of sexual harassment reports against him, including at least $13 million in settlements.)

In October 2016, Watters produced a widely condemned, racist and stereotype-driven segment in New York City’s Chinatown, asking bystanders questions such as, “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” “Tell me what’s not made in China?” and, “Do you know karate?” The song Kung Fu Fighting played in the background, and the segment included clips of Watters attempting to do karate.

Here is more of Watters’ despicable commentary on Fox News over the years:


  • On May 15, Watters said that Black Americans should be more concerned with “absent fathers” and” education issues” than with white supremacist mass shooters. “You know what the biggest domestic threat is to young Black men in this country? Other young Black men with guns.”
  • Discussing reparations for slavery during Black History Month, he argued that the people “who financed it” deserve credit for American infrastructure built by slaves, saying, “Labor's just a part of it.”
  • He said in January that Black history after the 1950s shouldn’t be taught because “it’s all activism. It’s all ideology. It’s no history.”
  • In October 2022, Watters said that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “went full taco” as she responded to hecklers at a town hall.
  • Watters said in January 2022 that a Black Supreme Court nominee would be “the result of a back room racial deal that was cut so a white Democrat could win the nomination, that's the truth.”
  • In October 2021, Watters blamed the plight of Native Americans in the United States on “alcoholism” and “government dependency.”
  • When Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted that the United States is “stolen land,” Watters said, “We won this land on the battlefield and we bought it.”
  • In June 2020, Watters said that police were justified in killing Rayshard Brooks by shooting him in the back as he ran away.
  • Watters blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for protesters being shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020: “Sadly, you’re going to have vigilante justice. … And things happen and it's horrible and that's not the way to handle it, but unfortunately this is what happens when a governor abdicates his responsibility to keep the safe streets.”
  • While guest hosting The O’Reilly Factor in June 2015, Watters asked if white supremacy causes “African American men to not get married to women that they have babies with?”

Sexism and misogyny

  • Following Republicans’ weak performance with single women in the 2022 midterm elections, Watters said “we need these ladies to get married.”
  • After the Dobbs Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May 2022, Watters attacked “women who are past their prime, who can't even get pregnant” and advocate for reproductive rights.
  • In July 2022, after discrediting a report on a 10-year-old Ohio girl needing an abortion, Watters then attacked the girl's Indiana doctor who provided it.
  • The following month, he voiced support for allowing teachers to spank students: “Can you paddle female students?”
  • Attacking Ocasio-Cortez in August 2022, Watters said she was “not ripe enough to run for president. First, she has to get married,” adding, “And then you have to get pregnant.”
  • In 2017, Jesse Watters made a lewd and sexually suggestive comment about the way Ivanka Trump was speaking into a microphone.
  • Watters suggested on Fox’s Outnumbered in June 2014 that statutory rape of an adolescent boy isn't as bad if the female perpetrator is attractive: “You usually get high-fives.”
  • Watters said in 2014 that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “is trying to overcompensate” on foreign policy because she is a woman.
  • In February 2011, Watters ambushed a Planned Parenthood official and pushed the falsehood that the organization was “excusing and covering up underage sex trafficking.”

Xenophobia and Islamophobia

  • On May 10, he pushed the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory in response to the end of Trump-era Title 42 immigration restrictions: “Imagine a generation from now. That's what they want to do here. They want to make Texas a Democrat state. And you'll never see another Republican in the White House after that.”
  • On May 2, Watters said “I can tell” when a person is undocumented just by looking at them. “I'm a city guy,” he claimed. “You don't want me to get into it, but I can tell.”
  • In April 2022, Watters used victims of rape and murder among asylum-seekers to justify former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
  • In October 2021, Watters called the unification of migrants with their families or sponsors “taxpayer-funded human trafficking.”
  • Watters called a Muslim woman “a total fraud and a total nutcase” after she criticized conservative stereotypes about Islam in 2014, adding that “she might have been a plant, who knows who she’s communicating with?”
  • Watters defended Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric in 2015, saying he wouldn't let “illegal aliens come to the country and murder our women.”
  • On The O’Reilly Factor in February 2017, Watters defended Trump’s Muslim ban and told an imam, “You have to admit there is a Muslim problem in the world.”

Anti-LGBTQ Hate

  • In March, Watters suggested that young transgender people are transitioning for internet fame.
  • In October 2022, Watters said “grooming teachers” are taking children’s gender away.
  • Watters and O’Reilly laughed while speculating on an interviewee's gender identity in October 2015.
  • In July 2013, he created a transphobic segment mocking attendees of New York’s Mermaid Parade, many of whom were dressed in drag. Watters asked one parade-goer, a teacher, if he thought he was “setting a good example” for children.
  • A year later, in 2014, he ridiculed attendees of San Francisco’s pride parade and played on hateful tropes about LGBTQ people. Watters assured O’Reilly at the end of the segment that “no one assaulted me.”

Election Denial

  • In March, he said that “Democrats can’t win elections fairly, they know they can't persuade voters their policies are better, so the only thing keeping them in power is collusion and censorship.”
  • In September 2022, he claimed that President Joe Biden and the FBI had “rigged the last election.”
  • Days before the Capitol riot, Watters falsely claimed that the 2020 presidential election was filled with voter fraud, said, “We used to storm the castle over abuses of power like this,” and told his audience, “In 2021, let's relight that great American spirit. Let's stand up to this den of thieves because they'll just keep robbing us blind until we actually do something about it.”

Climate Denial

  • In April 2022, Watters said “the logical conclusion” to climate activism is “human sacrifice.”
  • He said in July 2021, “You don't fight climate change. If it's getting warmer, you adapt to it.”
  • Watters criticized the Portland School Board in 2016 for banning classroom material that denied climate change.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Danziger Draws

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City and Vermont. He is a long time cartoonist for The Rutland Herald and is represented by Counterpoint Syndicate. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.