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Networks Cut Away From Trump Press Conference

Hong Kong remarks turned into campaign-style event
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2020 8:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump signed a bill Tuesday targeting China over its harsh treatment of Hong Kong—but a press conference he called to discuss the measure quickly turned into something strongly resembling a campaign speech. The New York Times reports that after a few minutes of discussing the sanctions, Trump launched into a lengthy attack on Joe Biden, causing networks including CNN to cut away "after it became clear that he intended to use it as a televised campaign event." Biden and President Obama "freely allowed China to pillage our factories, plunder our communities, and steal our most precious secrets," Trump said. "I've stopped it largely."

The president, who spoke for around an hour, delivered a point-by-point attack on Biden, "attributing dozens of policy ideas to him that appeared drawn from opposition research," Politico reports. He also brought up Biden's son, asking, "Where is Hunter?" In answer to a question from a reporter, Trump said he didn't see himself as the underdog in the race and said polls showing Biden ahead are skewed, the Hill reports. "The enthusiasm now is greater and maybe far greater than it was in 2016," he said. The bill Trump signed, which passed Congress unanimously after Beijing introduced a draconian security law for Hong Kong, targets the Chinese Communist Party officials behind the law and police units that have cracked down on protests, the AP reports. Trump said he had also signed an order to end preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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