Former Vice President Joe Biden says President Trump’s attacks on him and his son Hunter about Ukraine “initially” angered him, but the Democratic presidential candidate said he won’t let the scandal distract him.
“It initially made me angry. But I realized that whoever he most feared was going to be the victim of his affection — no matter who it is they’re going to go after them,” Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“A president can’t just fight. A president has to be able to forgive, has to be able to reach out. We’ve got to pull the country together. And so the dilemma has been, you know, how much do I let my frustration show and how much do I focus on — because ultimately it’s not about me, Chuck, it’s about the folks listening,” he continued.
Host Chuck Todd asked Biden if he believed Trump campaigning against him and his son had an influence on his disastrous finishes in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
“It has. But, you know, I can’t focus on that, Chuck. I’ve got to focus on the future. I got to focus on how do we end this era … how do we … restore the soul of this country,” Biden responded. “I mean it’s just being eaten out. It’s being eaten away, the cruelty, the viciousness, the way he pits people against each other.”
Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens in a July phone call that became the basis for the congressional impeachment hearings.
The president said he was concerned about possible corruption involving the former vice president after Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine unless it fired its top prosecutor.
The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had been investigating a Ukrainian energy company that had employed Hunter on its board.
The House approved two articles of impeachment in December, but the Senate earlier this month voted Trump not guilty after a trial in the chamber.
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