President Donald Trump said Friday that he never thought that former Vice President Joe Biden was going to win the Democrat nomination for president in 2020.
“Biden is not the brightest person, I never thought he was going to win,” Trump said, referring to the former vice president’s prior failed campaigns for president in 1988 and 2007.
The president has experienced heightened criticism from the political establishment for asking China and Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son Hunter Biden for his lucrative financial dealings in those countries while his father was vice president.
But Trump insisted that he was only interested in investigating the Bidens to root out corruption in government, not because of political reasons.
“This is about corruption, this is not about politics,” he said.
Trump spoke to reporters as he left the White House on Friday to visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to award purple heart medals to wounded American soldiers.
He defended his inquiry into Ukrainian dealings with the Bidens, citing “an obligation and a duty” as president to investigate corruption.
“I can tell you, just as an observer, what I saw Biden do with his son, he is pillaging the countries and hurting us,” he said.
He reminded reporters that the Obama administration investigated him during the 2016 election for political reasons, expressing surprise that Democrats were upset over it.
Trump repeatedly downplayed Biden’s chances of winning the Democrat primary for president.
“Joe Biden was never going to make it,” he said. “He tried it twice, he was at one percent.”
Biden has repeatedly said that Trump’s attacks only prove that the president believes that he is the greatest threat to his presidency, vowing to “beat him like a drum.”
But Trump ridiculed the notion.
“I didn’t think Biden was going to win. I guess everybody has a shot. But I don’t think he would be frankly my toughest opponent either,” he said. “And just to finish off, I don’t think that he will win.”