'Fearmongering': Trump slams Biden over 'threat to democracy' barb

Trump faces 91 criminal charges and three other felony cases

trump-iowa-afp Former US president and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during a "Commit to Caucus" rally at the North Iowa Events Center in Mason City | AFP

Former US president Donald Trump hit back at President Joe Biden for describing him as a “clear threat to democracy”, in the latter's first 2024 campaign speech.

Accusing Biden of “fearmongering”, Trump, while addressing his supporters in Sioux Centre, Iowa, said that the US president was attacking him on the matter of democracy because he could not run on other issues.

Biden, in his address to the gathering near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, said that January 6, 2021, marked a moment where “we nearly lost America”, referring to the US Capitol by then-President Trump's supporters aiming to keep him in power. More than 100 police officers were bloodied, beaten and attacked by the rioters who overwhelmed authorities to break into the building while lawmakers were counting Electoral College votes that certified Democrat Biden's win.

“We all know who Donald Trump is," Biden said. "The question we have to answer is who are we? What's Trump done? He's called these insurrectionists patriots.”

In response, Trump, who faces 91 criminal charges and three other felony cases, lashed out at Biden, accusing the Democrats of using the justice system to damage their chief political rival. “Joe Biden's record is an unbroken streak of weakness, incompetence, corruption, and failure," Trump told his supporters. "That's why Crooked Joe is staging his pathetic fearmongering campaign event in Pennsylvania today.”

Speaking just 10 days before the crucial Iowa caucus - the first round of the

Republican nominating contest - the former president called the United States under Biden a "failing" nation, beset by "terrorists" and immigrants from "mental asylums" pouring over the US-Mexico border.

He also attacked his Republican competitor Nikki Haley, who served as the US ambassador to the UN for two years during his term. "Nikki Haley has been in the pocket of the open borders establishment donors her entire career. She's a globalist," Trump said.

Iowa's Republican nominating contest is set for January 15.

Supreme Court to decide Trump's fate

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said on Friday it will decide whether Trump can be kept off the ballot because of his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The justices acknowledged the need to reach a decision quickly, as voters will soon begin casting presidential primary ballots across the country. The court agreed to take up a case from Colorado stemming from Trump's role in the events that culminated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Arguments will be held in early February.

(With PTI inputs)

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