President Trump on Thursday slammed Joe Biden for giving a “great insult to the black community” in recent remarks.
“I just watched a clip. And Joe Biden, this morning, totally disparaged and insulted the black community,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “What he said is incredible. And I don’t know what’s going on with him, but it was a very insulting statement he made.”
Trump seemed to be referring to a Wednesday interview in which Biden asked a black journalist if he was a “junkie” and said “unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”
It’s unclear which controversial remark Trump was referring to, or if he was referring to both.
Biden, 77, snapped on Wednesday when asked by CBS correspondent Errol Barnett if he had taken a cognitive test, as Trump suggested Biden do.
“Come on, man. That’s like saying to you, before you got on this program, if you had to take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden replied.
He said blacks are less diverse than Hispanics in response to a question about his policy toward Cuba.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders in this year’s primaries with strong black support, but recently has struggled with rude gaffes.
In May, Biden walked back comments telling voters they “ain’t black” if they support a candidate other than him.
Trump’s campaign is seeking to make inroads with black voters, pointing to Biden’s authorship of a 1994 crime law blamed for contributing to the “mass-incarceration” of minorities. Trump often notes he signed a reform law that reduced many prison sentences.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s final 2016 campaign manager, told reporters on Thursday that it was an “awful insult” for Biden to use the term “junkie.”
“I feel like, to quote Joe Biden, ‘punching him in the nose’, ‘taking him out back behind the building’ [for] insulting people who are struggling with substance abuse disorder rather than trying to help them,” Conway said.