President Donald Trump was highly critical of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during a recent visit to Japan, where he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump even went so far as to say that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had better leadership skills than Biden, describing Jong Un as “very smart” and Biden as someone with a “low IQ.” And Trump was lambasted for his anti-Biden remarks during a Monday-night panel discussion on Fox News, which is generally quite favorable to the president.
The panelists on Fox News’ “Special Report With Bret Baier” included the American Enterprise Institute’s Marc Thiessen, the Washington Post’s Charles Lane and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Thiessen called Trump out not for criticizing Biden, but for where and how he did it.
“You don’t attack political opponents from foreign soil,” Thiessen asserted. “You’re supposed to be out there as America’s chief diplomat. And two, you don’t cite the murderous dictator of North Korea as evidence of why Biden is a bad candidate.”
Lane concurred with Thiessen, saying, “I do agree with Marc that it was shameful.”
York commented that Trump’s anti-Biden comments in Japan underscore “the enormous place that Joe Biden is occupying in the president’s worldview at the moment. He sees Biden’s lead in the polls. He remembers his own experience where he led almost wire to wire, which is not really the way it always works. But he looks at this Democratic field and says, ‘Who else is it going to be?’ So he’s absolutely fixed on Biden.”
York added that Trump “should not be doing this in Japan. It looks bad.”
Trump’s anti-Biden comments in Japan have drawn criticism on other cable news programs as well. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, conservative Joe Scarborough denounced Trump’s comments as wildly inappropriate and noted that the Dixie Chicks were banished from country radio in the 2000s after criticizing President George W. Bush outside of the United States. And Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, also recalled that in the past, he gave Sen. Harry Reid hell for criticizing Bush abroad.
In Tokyo, Trump remarked, “Well, Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that.”
FBI official facing criminal investigation for allegedly altering surveillance document in Russia probe: report
On Thursday, CNN reported that John Durham, the U.S. Attorney tasked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the 2016 Russia probe, has opened a criminal investigation into an FBI official accused of altering a document pertaining to the original surveillance efforts.
It is unclear how the document was altered, or whether it played any significance in the FBI's efforts to obtain warrants to surveil members of the Donald Trump's presidential campaign, including adviser Carter Page.
Fiona Hill’s attorney rips the administration: Trump ‘co-opted’ US foreign policy for his own ends
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," National Security Council official Fiona Hill's attorney, Ambassador Lee Wolosky, broke down the implications of his client's testimony.
"The phrase that she used to describe [E.U. Ambassador Gordon] Sondland's mission, a 'domestic political errand,' a lot of people have said that was a big takeaway from today, that sort of encapsulated what was going on here," said Cooper. "Does she agree?"
"Well, yeah," said Wolosky. "As she testified to, I think that what she began to notice is that, in fact, this really wasn't an irregular or shadow foreign policy effort, as some people have called it. It was actually domestic politics. She was doing national security, as were others, and foreign policy, and Sondland and Giuliani were taking steps to advance the political interests of the president. And I think that what she crystallized is how pernicious it can be when our national security and when our foreign policy decision making is basically co-opted or held hostage to the individual political interests of one individual."
Lev Parnas was ‘at the table’ when Giuliani pressured Ukraine for Biden dirt during Madrid meeting
The Daily Beast published a bombshell report on Thursday evening that put indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas in the room when the former NYC mayor pressured the Ukraine for political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden's family.
"When Rudy Giuliani met with a senior Ukrainian official in Madrid earlier this year and urged him to investigate the Bidens, Lev Parnas was at the table, according to Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian official. Parnas’ presence at the meeting, which has not been previously reported, indicates that he may have significant visibility into Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Kyiv to investigate a company linked to one of President Donald Trump’s political rivals," The Beast reported. "That pressure campaign is a central focus of congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry."