Donald Trump unloaded on Joe Biden during a bombastic radio interview with Rush Limbaugh, defending his performance at the debates last week and saying he “had to be rude” because his opponent was “lying”.
Mr Trump delivered excuses and controversial attacks against Mr Biden during the nearly two-hour long interview on Friday, his longest since he tested positive for Covid-19 last week and was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland before returning to the White House on Monday night.
“I had to be rude because he was lying,” Mr Trump told Limbaugh about the former vice president, who he notably interrupted at least 128 times during the 90 minute debate.
“I’d rather let him speak because he’s gone, mentally gone,” the president continued, reigniting baseless and unfounded conspiracy theories about Mr Biden’s mental health. “Eventually he will go off track and start talking about the birds and the bees."
The president frequently burst into longwinded tangents during his first debate against Mr Biden — much like his interview on Friday, in which he used profanity and at one point said: “Iran knows that and has been put on notice. If you f*** around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”
“I had to be rude because he was lying," Trump says about his first debate performance against Biden.
“I’d rather let him speak because he’s gone, mentally gone, and eventually he will go off track and start talking about the birds and the bees."
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) October 9, 2020
"I don't think the debates mean that much," Trump said, then says he won the last debate. "I had to be rude because he was lying," he said of interrupting Biden repeatedly.
— Lauren Gambino (@laurenegambino) October 9, 2020
His latest comments came amid increasing confusion over the timeline for the next presidential debate.
Mr Trump demanded he be allowed to attend next week’s debates in-person, which was swiftly rejected by the Commission on Presidential Debates due to his current Covid-19 diagnosis.
The president then refused to take part in a virtual event that Mr Biden had agreed to attend. The debate commission has now said it is waiting for the Trump campaign to release basic information about his recent Covid-19 tests, which officials have failed to provide.
Mr Trump has said he does not believe he is “contagious at all,” though medical experts say a person who contacts the novel coronavirus is typically contagious for at least 10 days after their last sign of symptoms.
The president also spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night, in which he was heard frequently coughing while continuing to promote unfounded conspiracies surrounding mail-in voting.