Trump was frustrated by his inability to organize rallies because of a coronary pandemic, and it seemed that Trump had brought the rally speech to the White House instead. Former presidents made efforts to avoid such public political statements from the White House, but these habits often mean little to Trump and his rhetoric on Tuesday was almost identical to his attacks on the road.
Turning to immigration, the police, statues and monuments, trade and climate change, he moved from swinging to written comments warning that Biden “will destroy our country.”
“We can go on for days,” Trump said in the middle of his speech.
Before he begins his blind political speech, Trump said he would sign a bill and an executive order that would punish China for its actions in Hong Kong. He also said he held Beijing responsible for hiding coronavirus at the start of a global pandemic now and “unleashing it on the world.”
“He could have stopped it,” Trump said at a Rose Garden event in the late afternoon, which was added to his schedule a few hours ago. “They should have stopped her.”
In early July, the US Senate approved a final version of the legislation that would punish China for moves that lawmakers fear will crush Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms. Trump took advantage of his announcement, as the legislation signed on Tuesday evening.
Trump on Tuesday night also issued his executive order aimed at ending preferential treatment for Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” he said at the rose garden. “No special concessions, no special economic treatment, no export of sensitive technologies.”
“The president’s signature of the party-level human rights legislation passed by Congress is a reflection of years that enabled President Xi to suppress Hong Kong,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late on Tuesday. But she also criticized his relationship with his Chinese counterpart, saying that Trump should “stop President Xi’s pampering and take strong strategic action to hold Chinese officials accountable.”
Biden’s campaign also criticized the Trump event.
“Today’s statement … was ostensibly to be about China, but there was one issue that President Trump does not seem to disagree with: Joe Biden, whom the president has spoken about 30 times,” Kate Biddingfield, campaign and deputy director at statement.
“The American taxpayer must be compensated for the misuse of the money that this scene represents,” she added.
He appeared to take these two recommendations seriously on Tuesday, denouncing Biden’s “full” profession as “a gift to the Communist Party of China.”
The issue of China became a leading topic in the election year as both Trump and Biden try to paint the other as weak in the face of Beijing’s aggression. Both sides used the problem in campaign ads.
Trump has stated that he is not satisfied with the country but is not yet planning to cancel the trade agreement he signed with Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.
On Tuesday, he said he had no plans to talk to Xi in the near future.
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an official rejection of “most” China’s maritime claims to the South China Sea, the latest in an escalation between Washington and Beijing.
Last week, the Trump administration took measures against Chinese officials for their involvement in human rights violations in the Xinjiang region, where Uighur Muslims and other minority groups have been arrested and tortured.
Two weeks ago, the administration announced visa restrictions for current and former Chinese officials who said “they were responsible for taking away Hong Kong’s freedoms.”
This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.
Sarah Mucha and Devan Cole of CNN contributed to this report.