Joe Biden says Trump has "fanned the flames of white supremacy"

Biden says Trump encourages white supremacy

Last Updated Aug 7, 2019 6:50 PM EDT

Washington — With 65 weeks until the presidential election, we're getting a preview of how nasty it could get. On Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, directly linked President Trump to the massacre in El Paso, Texas. His speech took place just hours before Mr. Trump arrived there, to pay his respects to the victims.

"We have a problem with this rising tide of supremacy, white supremacy in America and we have a president who encourages and emboldens it," Biden said.

In Iowa on Wednesday, Biden accused Mr. Trump of inspiring mass shootings in Texas and Pennsylvania

"How far is it from Trump's saying this 'Is an invasion' to the shooter in El Paso declaring quote, 'This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas?'" Biden asked. "How far is it from white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville — Trump's 'very fine people' – chanting 'you will replace us' to the shooter at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh saying Jews are 'committing genocide' on his people. I don't think it's that far at all."

Biden went on to say that in both "language" and "code," the president "has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation."

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Speaks On White Nationalism In Iowa
Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about White Nationalism during a campaign press conference on August 7, 2019 in Burlington, Iowa. Getty

Biden, the Democratic party frontrunner, noted that white nationalist and Ku Klux Klan leaders had celebrated Mr. Trump's 2016 election.

"Our president has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington," Biden said.

As Biden spoke, the president tweeted from Air Force One, calling Biden's speech "so boring." Told later about the tweet, Biden replied, "he should get a life."

CBS News has learned Biden was "outraged and furious" by the shootings and Mr. Trump's response, and began writing his speech over the weekend. CBS News also spoke with the Trump campaign, which pointed out the president's response included denouncing white supremacy.

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