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'Unhinged', 'crooked': Trump and Biden trade barbs on campaign trail

'Unhinged', 'crooked': Trump and Biden trade barbs on campaign trail
A combination picture shows US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaking during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, US, on Sept 29, 2020
PHOTO: Reuters

ATLANTA - Former president Donald Trump launched another expletive-laced attack on Mr Joe Biden as he addressed an influential gun group on May 18, while the incumbent President warned in the crucial swing state of Georgia that his "unhinged" challenger is a threat to US democracy.

Trump was in Dallas, Texas, where he received the endorsement of the politically powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).

In a rambling speech to thousands of NRA members, Trump said Mr Biden is "the worst president in the history of our country, by far" and branded the Democrat as "full of bullshit".

"You're fired, get out of here, Joe!" he called out to laughter from the pro-gun crowd, telling them Mr Biden was coming for their firearms.

Trump, who is fending off multiple criminal indictments for his unprecedented attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election and was twice impeached as president, told the crowd that Mr Biden is "crooked" and a "threat to democracy".

If Mr Biden were a Republican, he would be "given the electric chair", Trump said.

Mr Biden, meanwhile, was stumping in the key southern state of Georgia, which the Democrat narrowly won in 2020, as he sought support from African Americans - a crucial element in his coalition.

"Our democracy is really on the line," Mr Biden told supporters at Mary Mac's Tea Room, a black-owned restaurant in Atlanta.

"My opponent's not a good loser. But he is a loser," Mr Biden said to applause.

"He's not only obsessed with losing in 2020. He's clearly unhinged," he said, adding that something "snapped" in Trump after that election.

"Folks, Trump isn't running to lead America. He's running for revenge.

"We cannot let this man become president. Our children's future is at stake... We have to win this race, not for me, but for America."

On May 19, Mr Biden was due to address students at Morehouse College, a renowned historically black university.

Gun violence

Trump was campaigning in Texas during the weekend break for his criminal trial in New York. He also faces criminal charges in Washington, Georgia and Florida - indictments the former president routinely claims are part of a conspiracy by Mr Biden to prevent his return to the White House.

The 150-year-old NRA, whose long-time chief executive resigned in January amid a graft lawsuit, is closely aligned with the Republican Party in opposing firearm restrictions, despite routine mass killings in the US and high rates of gun violence compared with peer nations.


Efforts at broad reforms to gun laws have been stymied for decades, with executive actions and state initiatives attacked in court by critics as infringing on the constitutional right to own a firearm, enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Trump previewed the tone of his speech on May 17, telling a fund-raising dinner in Minnesota that gun owners must vote Republican because "the Democrats want to take their guns away - and they will take their guns away".

Mr Biden has repeatedly called for a long-lapsed ban on military-style assault weapons to be reinstated, among other restrictions.

In April, the White House moved to crack down on firearm sales at gun shows and online that evade US federal background checks, with several Republican-led states quickly suing to block the measure.

There were more than 40,000 gun-related deaths in the US in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

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