Beijing does not want to go to war with the U.S. but is attempting to undermine Washington's global position, said Michael Collins, a CIA expert on Asia.
Reports on Friday said Trump's former lawyer had secretly recorded him discussing a payment involving an ex-Playboy model.
The GOP-controlled state government recently passed a law that critics say amounts to placing a "poll tax" on college students.
President Donald Trump waded back into the debate on Friday, suggesting his own rules for the league. "First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!" he tweeted.
"The whole population is not just under a physical form of dictatorship, it's also an emotional or a psychological form of dictatorship."