Joe Biden said President Donald Trump is “an idiot” for calling Russia’s election interference a “hoax,” and says it’s clear the president and the Russians are aligned in wanting to keep the former vice president from winning in 2020.
“The Russians don’t want me to be president and Trump doesn’t want me to be the nominee,” he said in a new interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. “Trump not only doesn’t want to do anything about it he’s going out and asking for help.”
As to Trump’s insistence that Russian election interference— something the U.S. intelligence community, America’s allies abroad, and Congress agree is real— is a hoax, Biden said that Trump is, “an idiot— in terms of saying that. Everybody knows this. Everybody knows it. Nobody doubts it.”
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Biden also said Trump has “no integrity” when he targets the former vice president’s family on the campaign trail.
“I’ve never discussed my business or their business, my son’s or daughter’s. And I’ve never discussed them because they know where I have to do my job and that’s it and they have to make their own judgments,” he said. “He’s a grown man. And it turns out he did not do a single thing wrong, as everybody’s investigated.”
Downplaying his campaign’s cash woes, Biden said he believes he is still the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination.
“I know I’m the frontrunner. Find me a national poll with a notable, a couple exceptions. But look, this is a marathon,” he said. “I’m not worried about being able to fund this campaign. I really am not, truly.”
He also again targeted his 2020 rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., over her healthcare and tax plans. Warren, who has risen in the polls in recent weeks, took repeated blows during the last Democratic debate when she refused to say whether she would raise taxes to pay fun “Medicare For All.
“I want more young people engaged. I want them voting,” he said. “But the idea that this is the way in which it’s going to change is— by just making the most far reaching assertions you can make, I mean, let’s talk about Medicare For All. Do you think there’s been any truth in advertising on that It’s going to raise taxes on middle class people, not just wealthy people?” he said. “Even Bernie acknowledges you got to raise taxes.”
Asked about his performance in debates and on the trail, Biden acknowledged a “learning curve” while criticizing the format. His wife, who joined for part of the interview, also defended her husband and said she had no concern about his ability to serve as president.
“I don’t worry about the gaffes. And, you know what, the American people know who Joe Biden is,” she said. “I mean, if he misspeaks one word, they don’t— that doesn’t affect the way they’re going to vote, one way or the other.”
Mike Memoli is an NBC News correspondent.