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Trump unleashes attacks on Biden in State of the Union response

Trump claimed Biden is "leading us to the brink of World War III" and said Democrats were "trying to indoctrinate and mutilate our children."
Donald Trump at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's Annual Meeting on  in Salem, N.H., on Jan. 28, 2023.
Donald Trump at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's annual meeting on in Salem on Jan. 28.Scott Eisen / Getty Images file

Former President Donald Trump uncorked a gusher of attacks on President Joe Biden on Tuesday, offering a bleak rebuke to Biden’s State of the Union message.  

In a recorded video, Trump, a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, trotted out what he called "the real state of the union" — a summary of the anti-Biden messaging he has honed since he launched his bid for the White House late last year. 

Trump accused Biden and “the radical Democrats” of failing on immigration and crime and took shots at the president's handling of transgender issues and the U.S. involvement in the war in Ukraine.

“Joe Biden’s weaponized Justice Department — and I’m a victim of it — is persecuting his political opponents. His administration is waging war on free speech. They’re trying to indoctrinate and mutilate our children,” Trump said, appearing to read from a script as he looked into the camera, flanked by two U.S. flags. “He’s leading us to the brink of World War III. And on top of all of that, he’s the most corrupt president in American history.”

Late last month, Trump promised in another video that, if he is re-elected, he will punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors. He equated the treatment to “child abuse” and “child sexual mutilation.”

He also said he would prohibit any federal agency from working to “promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age," not just for minors. Major medical organizations — including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association — have supported gender-affirming care, including for minors.

Trump also hit Biden on the cost of gas. Gas prices spiked last year as the war ensued in Ukraine but have since eased.

“I am running for president to end the destruction of our country and to complete the unfinished business of making America great again,” Trump said. 

Trump also delivered live commentary on his social media platform Truth Social as Biden delivered his address. Trump took shots at everything from Biden's phrasing — “too much use of the word 'folks'” and predicted Biden would get glowing reviews for his speech, despite Trump’s dissenting view.

“Having a hard time getting the words out, even though the Fake News will credit him with one of the Great Speeches of all time," Trump wrote. "I really want to see him improve. Come one Joe, you can do it!”

Trump’s remarks were in stark contrast to Biden’s chest-thumping earlier in the night, when he tried to make the case that his administration helped lay the groundwork for a strong economy and that he had accomplished bipartisan compromise. 

Biden has hinted at running for re-election, which could pit the two men against each other in what would be a 2020 rematch. But a recent NBC News poll found Americans were unenthusiastic about the prospect of their running again, with 52 % of those surveyed saying they felt “very uncomfortable” about a Trump presidential run in 2024 and 48% saying they are very uncomfortable with a Biden re-election attempt.