(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden issued some of his strongest rebukes to date of President Donald Trump’s allegations against him after revelations that Trump pushed the Ukrainian president to investigate him and his son, Hunter.
“All this talk from the president about corruption comes from the most corrupt president we’ve had in modern history. He is the definition of corruption,” Biden told reporters in Los Angeles on Friday, after appearing at a forum hosted by the Service Employees International Union.
“I am not going to stand for it,” Biden continued. “And I’m not going to respond to it. I’m not going to talk about anything other than what the facts are. He’s indicted himself by his own statements. This is not about me, it’s not about my son. There’s not a shred of evidence of anything done that’s wrong.”
Biden responded to a question from reporters about a photograph of him and Hunter golfing with Devon Archer, an American and former business partner of Hunter’s who also sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, and maintained he has not discussed his son’s overseas business dealings with him.
Biden also firmly denied that his son’s position on the Burisma board presented a conflict of interest with the then-vice president’s diplomatic role in Ukraine at the time of Hunter’s appointment.
“It’s not a conflict of interest. There’s been no indication of any conflict of interest from Ukraine or anywhere else. Period,” Biden told reporters.
“Let’s focus on the problem,” Biden continued, referring to Trump. “Focus on this man, what he’s doing, that no president has ever done. No president.”
Biden has continued to deflect questions when asked if he supports impeachment, deferring instead to the House of Representatives to follow the protocol set forth in the Constitution. But he acknowledged that he worries about the continued impact Trump could have while in office.
“He calls the impeachment proceeding ‘a coup.’ A coup. He talks about how we should handle whistleblowers,” an animated Biden said. “He talks about, there will be a civil war. This is the guy that’s unhinged. He is unhinged. I worry about what he’s going to do — not about me or my family. I’m worried about what he’ll do in the next year in the presidency, as this thing continues to rot on his watch.”
The former vice president, who served for over 30 years in the U.S. Senate, did not say whether he’d vote to convict Trump if the House passed articles of impeachment.
“I am not going to speculate what I would do in the Senate,” Biden said. “This is a president trying to get three of our most — two of our most — serious competitors, and not allies, to decide this election, decide who he runs against. This guy, like all bullies, is a coward. He does not want to run against me.”
Biden responded to a question as to whether Trump’s constant criticisms are hindering the former vice president’s campaign message.
“The irony of all ironies is, you press people are doing your job. You’re pointing out when he’s flat lying, where there is no evidence — none, not a scintilla, not one little tiny piece,” Biden said. “The American people know me, and they know him.”
The strong pushback from Biden comes at a critical time for his campaign. He’s fending off attacks from Trump while simultaneously battling the rising candidacies of rival Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
On Friday, Biden tried to place the focus firmly on the conduct of the man he is trying to unseat in 2020.
“I’m worried that [Trump] gets so unhinged, under a year left to go in this administration,” Biden said, “he does something really, really, really stupid, in terms of our international interest.”
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