Trump reportedly rips into Biden at meeting with TV news anchors as the former vice president mulls a 2020 run

  • President Donald Trump reportedly tore into Democrats during a private luncheon with TV anchors on Tuesday, hurling jabs at a number high-profile politicians that included former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • “I hope it’s Biden,” Trump reportedly said of Biden’s rumored 2020 US presidential run. “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student.”
  • Trump, who frequently mentions his Ivy-league education, appeared to be referring to Biden’s academic record at the Syracuse University College of Law in 1965.
  • “His gaffes are unbelievable,” Trump added at the luncheon. “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 previously viewed Biden as a threat to his incumbency in 2020, particularly due to his appeal to Trump’s own base of working-class white voters, according to an Axios report.

President Donald Trump reportedly tore into Democrats during a private luncheon with TV anchors on Tuesday, hurling jabs at a number high-profile politicians that included former Vice President Joe Biden.

Details of the private lunch were released by several news organizations, including The New York Times and Politico.

“I hope it’s Biden,” Trump reportedly said of Biden’s rumored 2020 US presidential run. “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student.”

Trump, who frequently mentions his Ivy-league education, appeared to refer to Biden’s academic record at the Syracuse University College of Law in 1965. According to school documents reviewed by The Times in 1987, Biden received poor grades and had “used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution.”

At the time, Biden admitted to misunderstanding the process of attributing sources, and faculty members at the law school “played down the incident of plagiarism,” according to The Times.

“His gaffes are unbelievable,” Trump reportedly added at the luncheon. “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’s pointed remarks at Biden stood in contrast to his previous assessment of the former vice president, according to Axios. In July, Trump reportedly viewed Biden as a threat to his incumbency in 2020, particularly due to his appeal to Trump’s own base of working-class white voters.

As a growing wave of Democrats declared their candidacy to retake the White House, Biden has reportedly mulled a 2020 campaign in recent weeks. Senior campaign positions have reportedly been hashed out and donors have been targeted, according to The Atlantic.

“I have been told that if it happens, I need to be ready to go with a moment’s notice,” one person familiar with the discussions told The Atlantic.

But Biden was not the only Democratic targeted by Trump, according to The Times.

  • Trump referred to a derogatory, racially-charged nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who claimed she was of Native American heritage: “I hope I haven’t wounded Pocahontas too badly.”
  • Trump took aim at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who continues to trade barbs with him on a number of issues: “Schumer … can be a nasty son of a b—h.”
  • Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, the embattled Democrat who resisted calls for him to resign following the public release of a racist photo from his medical school yearbook, was not spared from Trump’s ire: “Did you see that news conference,” Trump said, referring to Northam’s press conference in which he walked-back his previous comments admitting to being pictured in the racist photo. “Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”