STORY: BIDEN: “It's sickening to see the new attacks on the FBI”
In a fervent speech against gun violence on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden condemned as “sickening” the violent threats against FBI agents who searched Donald Trump's Florida home.
BIDEN: “...threatening the life of law enforcement agents and their families for simply carrying out the law and doing their job…I want to say it as clearly as I can. There is no place in this country - no place - for endangering the lives of law enforcement. No place. None. Never. Period. I'm opposed to defunding the police. I'm also opposed to defunding the FBI."
Biden’s speech, delivered in Pennsylvania, comes after the FBI and U.S Department of Homeland Security warned earlier this month of an increase in threats following the search of Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago, when agents removed what prosecutors described as 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked top secret, as part of a criminal investigation.
In recent weeks, Biden has largely sidestepped conversations about the investigation, with the White House saying the Justice Department operates independently even though the risk of disclosing sensitive information has national-security implications.
Biden during his speech also spoke passionately about passing an assault weapons ban and the importance of police funding in the important battleground state ahead of November midterm elections.
BIDEN: “I'm determined to ban assault weapons in this country. Determined... We're living in a country awash in weapons of war…for God's sake, what's the rationale for these weapons outside of a war zone?"
In addition to the ban, the president has called for Congress to provide $37 billion for crime prevention programs, with a portion dedicated to hiring and training an additional 100,000 police officers over the next five years.
Tuesday's visit to the small city of Wilkes-Barre gave Biden an opportunity to address a key concern for voters in a critical state that helped him win the presidency in 2020.
Trump, who is flirting with challenging Biden for a second term in 2024, is expected to hold a rally in the same city on Saturday.
Pennsylvania also plays host to one of the closest-watched Senate races in the upcoming midterm elections.