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Former Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden told "Cuomo Prime Time" Monday they've been surprised by attacks from Democrats who know him since he became a presidential candidate. Jill Biden said the "biggest surprise" was Sen. Kamala Harris confronting her husband on race at the 2020 debate.

"I think that they were looking at the past. I mean, the one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist. I mean, he got into politics because of his commitment to civil rights. And then to be elected with Barack Obama, and then someone is saying, you know, you're a racist?"
— Jill Biden

Context: Harris confronted her Democratic presidential rival at the debate for opposing federally mandated busing in the 1970s, drawing from her personal experience as being "part of the second class to integrate her public schools." And she addressed his comments on working with segregationist senators, for which he has since apologized.

The big picture: Harris qualified her debate point by saying, "I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground" — something CNN's Chris Cuomo pointed out to Jill Biden during his interview with the couple.

"As I heard those words I thought, 'uh oh, what's coming next? The American people know Joe Biden. They know his values. They know what he stands for. And they didn't buy it."
Jill Biden
  • In the wide-ranging interview with Cuomo, the couple also opened up about their late son, Beau, and the struggles their son Hunter has with addiction and mental illness.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

The walls close in on Trump

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Bill Barr's "Et tu, Brute!" interview with AP, President Trump is watching the walls close in on his claims of fraud, hoaxes and conspiracies.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team continue to claim election fraud. But the Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia have certified their elections, a loyalist like Barr has weighed in, and lower-ranking officials have taken potshots.