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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 BidenBig Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches Biden: American values being 'shredded' under Trump Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE on Tuesday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' 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.”