While US President Donald Trump continued to lash out against the impeachment inquiry that’s rapidly moving towards a vote, he took time out Friday to question why China, which has “plenty of money”, continues to get World Bank loans meant for less developed economies.
“Why is the World Bank loaning money to China? Can this be possible? China has plenty of money, and if they don’t, they create it. STOP!” the president wrote on Twitter.
The World Bank, whose president David Malpass is a former Trump administration official, had on Thursday cleared between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in low-interest loans to China, which caught Trump’s attention. His administration has been pushing the world body to discontinue loans to China saying, as Trump restated, it does not need them.
The World Bank agrees in principle and said in a statement to Reuters that “lending to China has fallen sharply and will continue to reduce”.
Trump remained focussed mainly — apart from the shooting at a naval facility in Florida — on the impeachment inquiry, tweeting and retweeting its criticism and of Democratic leaders behind it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and judiciary committee chairman Gerold Nadler.
Calling the inquiry “completely baseless” Trump’s counsel Pat Cipollone told the House judiciary committee on Friday that he will not not be participating in a hearing scheduled for Monday, continuing the White House non-cooperation with the probe, which is speedily moving towards a vote and impeachment.
“Having declined this opportunity, the President cannot claim that the process is unfair,” Nadler said in a statement.
“The President’s failure will not prevent us from carrying out our solemn constitutional duty.”
House Democrats are drafting articles of impeachment — a sort of indictment listing charges — against the President, with the plan to advance it for a full vote of the House of Representatives before Christmas to recommend his impeachment, which it will, given its Democratic majority.
But his removal from office, or not, will be determined by the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans, and a substantial number of them must vote in favour of his impeachment to remove him, and that doesn’t look likely.