(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Joe Biden calls President Trump a liar in the nicest way ever

Biden talks about the Nunes Memo, the Mueller investigation and 2020


Charlie May
February 7, 2018 1:39PM (UTC)

Saying that President Donald Trump has "some difficulty with precision," former Vice President Joe Biden unloaded on the president, essentially calling him a liar.

"You are in a situation where the President has some difficulty with precision," Biden said during an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. "One of the things I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous."

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In recent weeks, Trump said he was "looking forward" to sitting down with Mueller, who is leading the ongoing Russia investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged ties to the Russian government, and would even do so under oath. Meanwhile, Trump's lawyers have argued that Mueller hasn't met the proper threshold for an interview, and they also believe the president could perjure himself.

But Biden said he often "marvels" at some of Trump's seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, such as when he said Democrats were "treasonous," and "un-American" because they refused to cheer and clap for him during his State of the Union address last week.

The White House later insisted Trump was "clearly joking."

"Well, let me tell you, he's a joke," Biden told Cuomo. "I think he understands and I think the people around him understand, what presidents say matter."

He added, "Our children are listening, and the world is listening."

Biden also slammed the Trump administration and House Republicans for stirring up fears over the infamous memo authored mainly by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, which was a total dud.

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"It seems irresponsible," Biden said of the memo's release, in which it alleged FBI abuse. The memo goes on to say that the FBI and Justice Department were guilty of misconduct and relied on the Trump-Russia dossier, authored by Christopher Steele, in order to obtain a FISA warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page.

Biden took serious issue with how Republicans and Trump have openly sought to undermine the FBI.

"This is the first President to make a full-throated, unvarnished attack on the entirety of the FBI, not going after J. Edgar Hoover, who was one person in the FBI," Biden said. "What do you think they're thinking in Moscow? This is doing everything that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin ever wanted, sowing doubt about whether or not our justice system is fair, sowing doubt about whether or not there is anything that is remotely consistent with our Constitution."

Talks of the former vice president seeking a 2020 candidacy have been rumored for months, and Biden didn't exactly provide any more clarity on the matter. He said he was focused on helping the Democrats "to stop this insanity and begin to right this ship" for the 2018 midterm elections. While Biden has recruited top donors for his potential bid, many have been skittish about banking on him to run and are worried whether it would be a potential waste of time and money if Biden ultimately decides against running.

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When asked again by Cuomo, Biden said, "Barack, the president, asked me all during the end of the last administration, you know, how do you make the judgment?"

He added, "If I could look in the mirror in two and a half, two years, and walk away knowing I'm not walking away because I'm afraid or I don't have the nerve to try to do the job or I don't want to make the effort, then I will happily walk away. For real."

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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