Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday came out swinging against President Trump, accusing him of giving up the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
"He called himself a wartime president. Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together and, quote, 'in the face of this inevitable and invisible enemy.' What happened? Now, it's almost July and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag and left the battlefield."
Biden also called out Trump for how he's responded to a reported Russian effort to pay the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, saying his actions were a “dereliction of duty.”
The White House has said Trump did not receive a personal briefing on intelligence about the alleged Russian program.
But the administration has yet to squarely address whether Trump had received a written briefing, whether he had read it and why he had not responded more aggressively if he had.
Speaking at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden took questions from reporters, and threw one of Trump’s criticisms of him back at the president.
“This president is - he talks about cognitive capability, he doesn't seem to be cognitively aware of what's going on. He either reads and/or gets briefed on important issues and he forgets it, or he doesn't think it's necessary that he needs to know it. The president should have, on day one said, 'I want you to come before me in the Situation Room and lay out the differences and discretion'. Who is, who is saying what? Let's get to the bottom of this."
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump Tuesday by saying the information, which first appeared in The New York Times, had not been verified by the intelligence committee. She then added this:
"The President does read and he also consumes intelligence verbally (reporter overlapping). This President, I'll tell you, is the most informed person on planet Earth when it comes to the threats that we face.”
Biden was also asked by a reporter if had in fact he had been tested for some degree of cognitive decline, to which the former vice president responded by saying this:
"I've been tested and I'm constantly tested. Look, all you all got to do is watch me - and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I'm running against.”