Trump tears into Dems at private lunch hours before State of the Union: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE on Monday reportedly tore into a host of Democrats during a private lunch with television anchors, hours before he was set to deliver a speech the White House insisted would focus on the need for comity and bipartisan consensus.

The New York Times reported that Trump singled out former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBeto could give Biden and Bernie a run for their money Biden: 'I have the most progressive record of anybody running ... anybody who would run' H.R. 1 falls short of real reform MORE, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhy we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' MORE (D-N.Y.) and embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). He was critical of a number of prospective 2020 challengers as well. 

The president reportedly expressed a desire to run against Biden, telling those at the White House lunch that the former vice president is “not very smart.”


“His gaffes are unbelievable,” Trump said, according to the Times. “When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

Trump lashed out at several other Democrats in harsh terms, the Times reported. He called Schumer a "nasty son of a bitch," and said Northam "choked like a dog" at a press conference over the weekend where he refused to resign over a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill, but declined to comment to the Times on the president's remarks.

The president's derision of Democrats was in stark contrast with the message the White House has sought to sell ahead of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

"The president’s going to lay out that case tonight,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “We can either choose greatness or we can choose to continue fighting with one another.”

“Together we can break decades of political stalemate, we can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make,” Trump will say, according an excerpt from his speech.