Joe Biden on Wednesday slammed President Donald Trump as a “commander in chief who doesn’t command anything in the fight” against the coronavirus pandemic, also ripping him for “not doing a damn thing” in response to U.S. intelligence that Russia offered the Taliban bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan.
In an online speech to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden referred to reports that there has been “overwhelming evidence” that Russian intelligence officers offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters who kill Americans, explaining that the scenario made him think of his late son Beau Biden, who fought in Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard.
“If my son were still alive after spending a year in Iraq, I don’t know what the hell I would do,” Biden said. Beau Biden died in 2015 of brain cancer.
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NBC News has reported that the White House and top National Security Council officials learned about intelligence indicating Russia was offering bounties on U.S. and coalition troops in early 2019 — well over a year before Trump said no one had briefed him about the matter.
Biden, who spoke for less than 10 minutes to the union’s virtual political conference, also hit Trump over his administration’s response to the pandemic.
“The guy who says he’s commander in chief and then doesn’t command anything in the fight against COVID,” he said.
As of Wednesday, more than 130,000 people had died of COVID-19, according to an NBC News tally. Biden has repeatedly hit Trump over his pandemic response in recent weeks, as deaths and confirmed cases have continued to grow.
Later in his remarks, Biden criticized Trump for frequently using language that “your mom would wash your mouth out with soap,” for using and said, if elected, he would work to unify a fractured nation.
“We need a stronger, more just, more unified nation,” Biden said. “We need to restore power to workers, to communities who’ve been denied it so long.”
He also praised unions as the “backbone” of the U.S., adding that unions “built America” and “built the middle class.”