SUWANEE, Ga. – Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is pushing back against Republican claims that he knowingly failed to disclose compensation from Hong Kong company PCCW Media Limited, which is connected to the Chinese government after he amended a campaign financial disclosure.
In an exchange Thursday with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, Ossoff called the charge from the Georgia Republicans “utter nonsense.”
Ossoff is challenging Republican Sen. David Perdue in one of the two Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections which will determine if the GOP holds on to its Senate majority or if the Democrats will narrowly control both houses of Congress as well as the White House. In the other contest, appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is facing a challenge from Democrat Raphael Warnock.
The Perdue campaign for months has attacked Ossoff over the media company connection, with the first-term senator bringing it up during an October debate.
“Jon Ossoff tried to hide his connection to a media company with direct ties to the Communist Chinese government,” Georgia GOP executive director Steward Bragg charged earlier this month. “We’re asking the Senate Ethics Committee to look into this further because we believe this was an intentional effort to conceal information from the people of Georgia.”
Questioned by Doocy, Ossoff said that his media company “has produced multiple investigations of atrocities committed by ISIS war criminals. And these investigations have been aired by dozens of television channels in dozens of countries all over the world. And one of those television channels was in Hong Kong. That is the entire substance of Sen. Perdue’s campaign against me.”
Ossoff then highlighted that “the irony of this is that Sen. Perdue ran factories in Shenzhen province in cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party. Sen. Perdue spent his entire career outsourcing jobs to China, the same senator who refuses even to debate me.”
The candidate dismissed a comparison by Doocy to Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. The four-term congressman has faced intense scrutiny and some sharp criticism, especially from Republicans, in recent weeks, after reports that a suspected Chinese spy worked as a prominent fundraiser for Swalwell for years. Some House Republicans are calling for Swalwell’s removal from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, though authorities have not accused him of any wrongdoing.
Ossoff told Doocy that “Chinese intelligence operations in the United States are a grave threat” and added that is why it is concerning “that we have a senator like David Perdue.”
He added that “Perdue bragged under oath about how he’s career outsourcing American jobs to China, he operated factories in Shenzhen Province in China in cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party. And he explained that on the record.”
After Ossoff’s interaction with Doocy aired on Fox News, Perdue communications director John Burke argued that “instead of giving Georgians the answers they deserve, Jon Ossoff decided to be flippant and dismissive about concerns that the Chinese Communist Party may be targeting him.”
“Ossoff refuses to take the threat of China seriously even after Congressman Eric Swalwell, one of his supporters, was preyed on by a suspected Chinese operative,” Burke said.
Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.