Biden: 'We've learned in the last two years, it doesn't take much to awaken hate'
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Biden: 'The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world' DNC chair defends debate schedule after Biden says election process starts 'too early' MORE on Monday said that America has learned during President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE's time in the White House that it “doesn't take much to awaken hate."

Biden, speaking at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Washington, D.C., said that hate has been “legitimized” in the past two years.

“We've learned in the last two years, it doesn't take much to awaken hate,” Biden said. “To bring those folks out from under the rocks. That part of American society that’s always been there, will always be there, but has been legitimized.”

Though he did not name Trump directly, Biden’s comments echoed his recent criticism of the president. In October, Biden said that Trump "assigns moral equivalence" to "dark forces" of hatred.

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The former vice president, who is considering a 2020 presidential run, spoke directly to King’s son. He referenced the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as an example of how “the hate that cut your dad down is still nurtured by those forces of darkness.”

Biden also quoted Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech, saying: “Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.”

“We all know what it ought to be,” Biden added. “America’s been made better, all of the struggles many of you in this room have endured and led.”