Donald Trump branded Joe Biden an “enemy of the state” as he hit at the US president’s assertion that the Republican and his supporters are undermining American democracy.
Making his first public appearance since an August 8 FBI raid on his Florida mansion, Trump told a crowd in Pennsylvania the action was a “shocking abuse of power.”
That was despite protocols by which the Justice Department and the FBI act independently of the president.
Speaking in Philadelphia on Thursday, Biden, 79, had urged supporters to stand up in a “battle for the soul of the nation.”
In turn, Trump, 76, hit at Biden for saying he and his Republican supporters “represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Trump slammed that as a “vicious, hateful and divisive” and said Biden is “an enemy of the state.”
The dueling visits by Biden and Trump to Pennsylvania, a key state in November’s midterm elections for the Senate and House of Representatives, come with the ex-president under pressure over documents found by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
The Justice Department has said some highly classified government documents were discovered in Trump’s office during the raid.