Then-candidate Donald Trump caused a stir in 2016, when he called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release emails missing from former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's server.
In 2019, then-President Trump's infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy—in which he pressured Zelenskyy to dig up dirt on the Bidens while the White House withheld congressionally-approved, vital aid to Ukraine—led to his first impeachment.
Now, after losing the 2020 election, the former President is once again attempting to intercede in delicate foreign policy matters to serve his own interests. This time, he called on Russia to dig up dirt on the supposed corrupt dealings between President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and oligarchs in eastern Europe—all while Putin continues his invasion of Ukraine.
Trump delivered the remarks in an interview with far-right disinformation outlet Real America's Voice.
Trump told host John Solomon:
"As long as Putin is not exactly a fan of our country, let him explain ... why did the mayor of Moscow's wife give the Bidens, both of them, $3.5 million? That's a lot of money. She gave them $3.5 million. So now I think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer."
"Now, you won't get the answer from Ukraine, but why are they giving somebody who knows nothing about energy $187 thousand a month plus a $3 million upfront payment. And I won't even talk about China because they haven't gone into Taiwan yet. But why did the mayor of Moscow's wife give the Biden family $3.5 million? Nobody wants to ask the question."
After a mini-rant about CNN+ host Chris Wallace, whom he deemed a "total lightweight," Trump once again called on Putin to release the alleged dirt.
"But why is it that the mayor of Moscow's wife gave the Biden family $3.5 million? I think Putin now would be willing to probably give that answer. I'm sure he knows."
Trump's claims stem from a report released by Senate Republicans released in 2020, which claimed that Elena Baturina, the widow of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, sent a $3.5 million payment to the firm Rosemont Seneca Thornton for consultant work. At the time, Hunter Biden was the cofounder and CEO of another firm called Rosemont Seneca Advisors. There's no evidence that the payment was corrupt, or that the payment went to Hunter Biden. The link between the two firms is unclear.
With Trump's latest ask of Putin, social media users were enraged but not surprised at the comments.
They reminded their followers it wasn't the first time Trump had made this demand.