Jun 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Trump’s willingness to meet with Maduro: “Good Lord”

Joe Biden speaks at an event in Philadelphia

Biden at a roundtable meeting on reopening the economy in Philadelphia June 11. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden lit into President Trump at a virtual fundraiser Monday night for his statement in an interview with Axios that he's open to meeting with Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro.

  • “He doesn’t think that Maduro is that bad of a guy?” Biden mused to donors on a Zoom call. “He’s not really a dictator, or something to that effect. Good Lord.”

The big picture: Trump had to backtrack today after he told Axios' Jonathan Swan that he had second thoughts about recognizing Juan Guaidó as the leader of Venezuela. Trump appeared to reverse U.S. policy by expressing a willingness to meet with Maduro, who has been labeled a "narco-terrorist" by his own administration.

  • Trump tried to clarify his administration’s position by tweeting today that he “would only meet with Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!"

Between the lines: Biden continues to let Trump drive the news and then slice him for positions that have also been condemned by congressional Republicans.

Biden also seized on allegations in former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book, “The Room Where it Happened,” that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping for agricultural purchases that could help his reelection.

  • “That book Bolton did and the stuff that he is pointing out is just devastating,” Biden said.
  • “You hear what he said to Xi Jinping. He said the reason he didn’t say anything about a million Uighurs in concentration camps...He wanted his trade deal."
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