President Donald Trump at a Republican fundraiser Tuesday repeatedly aimed gibes at Joe Biden, joking that he wanted to call Biden in sympathy at the political trouble caused by accusations from several women that Biden touched them inappropriately.
Speaking at an event for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Trump who has faced multiple, much more serious, accusations of impropriety from women told the former vice president “welcome to the world.”
Trump has categorically denied women’s claims of unwanted sexual advances. Biden has not been accused of sexual misconduct but rather has been accused of touching women in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. He has said “not once never did I believe I acted inappropriately.”
Trump repeatedly mocked Biden’s trouble, starting with an anecdote about congratulating a general in Iraq.
“I said, ‘General, give me a kiss.’ I felt like Joe Biden. But I meant it,” Trump said, prompting laughter and applause.
Trump went on to discuss Republicans drawing battle lines for the “war” on “socialists” in the 2020 election.
He said Biden — whom he called the only “non-, sort of, heavy socialist” in contention for the 2020 nomination — was “being taken care of pretty well by the socialists.”
Trump and Biden at Trump’s inauguration in 2017, one of their few appearances together.
The mention was a nod to reports that supporters of the left-wing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders were helping to promote the claims against Biden.
“I was going to call him I don’t know him well,” Trump continued. “I was going to say: ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe?’”
Trump has faced accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior from multiple women, and his 2016 presidential campaign was almost derailed by the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted of groping women.
Biden, who has still not declared his intention to run in 2020 but has nevertheless topped polls of likely Democratic challengers to Trump, has previously taken the president to task for his comments about women.
He said at a March 2018 rally that if he were in high school, he would “take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.” Trump in response said he would floor Biden in a physical confrontation.
The latest allegations against Biden emerged on Tuesday night, when two more women came forward to accuse Biden of unwanted and inappropriate touching.