President Biden on Monday took aim at former President Trump during the first NATO summit of his presidency by accusing his predecessor of “phony populism” when pressed on Trump’s influence on the Republican Party.
Asked to weigh in on foreign leaders’ response to Republicans’ embrace of Trump’s false claims of election fraud, Biden told reporters that he believes “this is passing.”
“I don’t mean easily passing,” Biden said. “That’s why it’s so important that I succeed in my agenda.”
Biden also called out Republican senators who be believes “know better” about opposing a Jan. 6 commission investigating the deadly Capitol insurrection that Trump helped incite. The President argued that many Republicans are opposed to an investigation into the Capitol attack due to concerns about facing re-election challenges against candidates considered more conservative during next year’s primaries.
Biden said that did not feel that it was necessary to bring up Trump’s stronghold on the GOP with foreign leaders because the former president’s influence won’t stand in the way of his global commitments.
“The Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers,” Biden said. “The leadership of the Republican Party is fractured and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.”
The President claimed that he is not sweating the possibility of a return of Trumpism in Congress after next year’s midterm election or the White House in 2024.
“I’m not making any promises to anyone that I don’t believe are overwhelmingly likely to be kept,” Biden said.
Biden believes that Trump’s influence is not the end all be all for the GOP.
“I think you’re going to see that, God willing, we’re going to be making progress,” Biden said. “And there’s going to be a coalescing of a lot of Republicans, particularly younger Republicans, who are coming up in the party.”
Biden’s remarks mark an unusual move for the President, who has rarely criticized Trump since entering office.
The President’s comments on Trump also come two two days before his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is known as an ally of the former president. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported in March that Putin authorized influence operations to help Trump and denigrate Biden in the November presidential election.
Watch Biden’s remarks below:
Pres. Biden on ex-Pres. Trump's hold over GOP: "The Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers; the leadership of the Republican Party is fractured; and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people." pic.twitter.com/2XCyFYLsuN
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 14, 2021