Biden on Trump's 'treason' comments: 'He's a joke'

Biden on Trump's 'treason' comments: 'He's a joke'
© PBS NewsHour

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Hoping to catch fire, House Dems eye White House Dems look for candidate who will punch Trump ‘square in the face’ MORE on Tuesday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE “a joke” a day after Trump said Democrats who didn’t cheer him at his State of the Union speech were acting "treasonous."

“I just marvel at some of the things he says and does like, what, two days ago, anybody [who] didn’t stand up and clap for him was un-American and maybe even treasonous,” Biden said in an interview with CNN.

“They say it was tongue-in-cheek; Democrats can’t take a joke,” host Chris Cuomo responded, referring to the White House’s defense of Trump’s comments.

“Well, let me tell you, he’s a joke,” Biden said.

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Trump railed against Democratic lawmakers during a speech Monday in Ohio that was expected to focus on Republican tax-reform legislation. He said those who didn’t stand and clap for him during his speech last week were “un-American,” and “very selfish.”

“Can we call that treason? Why not?” Trump said. “They certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” 

A White House spokesman later said the president was being “tongue-in-cheek” with his remarks.

Biden, 75, who is said to be considering a 2020 presidential campaign, also took issue with Trump’s attacks on the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ). Trump has previously said the bureau’s reputation is in “tatters." 

He has ratcheted up his criticism following the release of a Republican-crafted memo that accuses FBI and DOJ officials of abusing surveillance powers to target his presidential campaign. 

"This is the first president to make a full-throated, unvarnished attack on the entirety of the FBI,” Biden told CNN.

"This is to discredit the entire FBI, and discredit his own Justice Department,” Biden continued. “What do you think they’re thinking in Moscow? This is doing everything [Russian President Vladimir] Putin ever wanted.”