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Joe Biden told MSNBC on Thursday that President Trump is "rooting for more violence, not less" in cities facing unrest due to protests against police brutality.

The backdrop: The Democratic nominee's comments came after four consecutive nights of turmoil in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was left paralyzed.

  • On Wednesday, a 17-year-old, who allegedly was acting as a member of a vigilante group, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Tuesday night's shooting deaths of two people during the protests in Kenosha.
  • The unrest there follows months of protests nationwide, sparked by the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville.

What he's saying: "What’s he doing — pouring more gasoline on the fire — I think he views it as a political benefit," Biden said of Trump.

  • Biden pointed to comments made by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who told Fox News that "the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who's best on public safety and law and order."
  • Biden also said he would consider visiting Kenosha: "What I don’t want to do is become part of the problem. ... If I were president, I would be going. If I went, I would be trying to pull together the Black community as well as the white community."

Worth noting: He also shot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's suggestion that he should refuse to debate Trump.

  • "As long as the commission continues down the straight and narrow. I am going to debate him. ... I am going to be a fact-checker on the floor."

Go deeper

Dec 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Thursday night frights for Biden White House

Reproduced from Homebase; Chart: Axios Visuals 

President-elect Joe Biden is building an economic team to deal with a post-COVID economic free fall, and a jobs report coming out Friday — expected to show reduced hiring last month — is anticipated to give that group a preview of coming attractions.

Why it matters: Biden's economic advisers are worried any failure to inject money into the economy now will only multiply their challenges once they take office, but President Trump remains fixated on litigating his election loss.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months: