Columnist issues a dire warning: Trump appears to be pressuring China into smearing Biden
US President Donald Trump, warmly welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to what the US leader likes to call the "Winter White House," the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (AFP / JIM WATSON)

New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait warned that President Donald Trump is almost certainly working with China to generate conspiracy theory propaganda about former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.

CNN is currently hosting its CNN Citizen conference, with a parade of political leaders and officials coming through to talk about issues.

Peter Navarro, Trump's economic advisor who crafted the China trade plan, wouldn't deny that part of the Chinese trade negotiations is a demand that China announce an investigation into the Bidens, whether they actually intend to or not.

Chait recalled the June call with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which he brought up the Biden conspiracy.

"It's certainly something we can start thinking about," a cagey Trump said when asked whether he would seek help from Xi on Biden. "Because I'm sure that President Xi does not like being under that kind of scrutiny."

By the beginning of October, Trump was outright asking China to start an investigation into the Bidens on live news cameras.

Republicans then laughed off the comment as a joke. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) specifically told reporters that Trump was trolling them.

"I don’t know if that’s a real request or him just needling the press, knowing that you guys were gonna get outraged by it,” Rubio. “[Trump’s] pretty good at getting everybody fired up, and he’s been doing it for a while now, and the media responded right on task.”

Given the exchanges between Trump and Xi, it appears it wasn't a joke. Rubio hasn't responded to the recent news, however. Thursday he was treating his fellow senators to Cuban food at a Senate GOP lunch.

“As the President of the United States, I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION, and that would include asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!” Trump then tweeted after news his China comment spread.

When China began asking government officials about the news and what to do, CNN reported that the U.S. government told them, “Investigating corruption is an easy way to earn goodwill with Trump.” China, however, isn't in the business of trying to score Trump's favor. They've already got the upper hand in Trump's trade war.

When economic adviser Larry Kudlow was asked if Trump was including the Biden conspiracy in his Chinese trade negotiations, Kudlow confessed, "I can't assure you of anything."

"On October 10, Trump adviser Michael Pillsbury emailed the Financial Times," recalled Chait.

“I got quite a bit of background on Hunter Biden from the Chinese," the adviser claimed.

In the end, all of the information was publicly available and could have been compiled with a simple Google search.

Chait closed by issuing a dire warning that if Trump isn't impeached and removed, he likely will continue to ask more foreign entities for help in the 2020 election.

Read the full piece at New York Magazine.