'Follow the Money': Schweizer Exposes How Political Elites 'Hide Corruption'
Claims money from China influencing decisions.
"Clinton Cash" author Peter Schweizer has a new book that exposes what he calls corruption among the political elite in Washington, D.C.
In “Secret Empires” Schweizer argues that China gained leverage over powerful American politicians like former Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by targeting their families with investment opportunities and business deals.
On "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, Schweizer said he went after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle because he followed the evidence wherever it led.
"I think that people are very interested and concerned about corruption in Washington, D.C.," he said.
Schweizer said that Biden and his son, Hunter, traveled to Beijing in December 2013, and the vice president was criticized for "going soft" on China on critical issues like the South China Sea and trade. Ten days after they left, an investment firm owned by Hunter Biden scored a $1.5 billion private equity deal from the Chinese government, he explained.
"If Joe Biden gets a $1,500 campaign contribution or a $1,500 gift or his wife does, it has to be disclosed. But if your kids or a sibling or a parent scores $1.5 billion from a foreign government, they're not required to disclose it. That's gotta change," Schweizer said.
Biden's spokesperson, however, rejected the author's assertions, saying, "We’re not going to engage on a politically motivated hit-piece riddled with demonstrable, factual errors, pushed by a Breitbart-affiliated author and his financial backers."
Schweizer also pointed out that McConnell is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose family is in the shipping industry and is "basically completely dependent" on remaining in the good graces of the Chinese government.
In 2008, he said, Chao’s father, James Chao, gave McConnell a gift of somewhere between $5 million and $25 million.
"What people don't realize is, where did that money come from? It came from Chinese government, specifically the China state shipbuilding corporation, who's the business partner with the Chao's. It's the largest military contractor in China," Schweizer said. "If you look at Mitch McConnell's record in the Senate, he has become increasingly soft on China, as it relates to military issues or trade issues."
"It's about follow the money. This is where we always end up when we look at corruption in politics. Follow the money."
Chao's office responded in a statement, flatly denying the claims.
"The author failed to mention Secretary Chao’s life of public service ranging from being the secretary of two cabinet departments to the Peace Corps to United Way of America – Secretary Chao has served our country with distinction and integrity.”
David Popp, communications director for Sen. Mitch McConnell, labeled Schweizer's claims as "wild accusations ... not backed by any credible sourcing."
"They are inaccurate. One need only look at the Leader’s floor remarks on China over the past several years to know that the author’s opinions are misguided," said Popp.
Editor’s Note: A spokesman for Chris Heinz denies Schweizer’s claims from the interview, saying Heinz and his family were not involved with the private equity deal in China.