Biden to Trump: ‘You’re not going to destroy me’

Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed President Donald Trump directly Wednesday, saying, “you’re not going to destroy me and not going to destroy my family,” in his strongest remarks on the Ukraine controversy to date.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Biden, who is running to take on Trump in the 2020 election, said before a crowd of voters in Reno, Nevada.

Hours earlier, Trump’s fury was evident as he railed against Democrats and the media over the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats to investigate claims laid out in a whistleblower complaint that Trump attempted to enlist the help of Ukrainian’s president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

The unproven accusation Trump continued to espouse as recently as Wednesday in the Oval Office is that Joe Biden was improperly trying to help Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, when then-Vice President Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the country’s prosecutor general. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

Biden also slammed Trump for his handling of the Ukraine controversy through Twitter and slammed the president for threatening the anonymous whistleblower.

“Virtually every day he launches a barrage of tweets, attacking, insulting, threatening, anyone who doesn’t bathe him in praise,” Biden said. “He’s even gone so far as to threaten the whistleblower. Now fearful about his election, he’s becoming more unhinged,” the former vice president continued.

Biden’s comments Wednesday, which he laid out in a nearly prosecutorial manner, present the strongest case against the president he has made in light of the impeachment inquiry.

“He is repeatedly smearing me and my family. His party fans out to carry the smear — are blanketing the airwaves paid for by the special interests so well served by his presidency,” said Biden.

Biden claimed the president has acted out against him because he is “afraid” that he will beat him in the polls. “He did it because like every bully in history, he’s afraid. He’s afraid of just how badly he may be beaten in November,” he said.

Biden laid out his dealings with Ukraine, saying that he carried out the official policy of the U.S. government to “root out” corruption.

“We weren’t pressing Ukraine to get rid of a tough prosecutor,” Biden said. “We were pressing them to replace a weak prosecutor who wouldn’t do his job with someone who, at the time, we hoped would finally crack down on corruption.”

The former vice president did not hold back and received the most applause of the evening from the crowd when he accused Trump of abusing the power of his office.

“You want an example of what happens when a president puts his own interests ahead of national interests, when a president abuses power? I’d say this is exhibit A.”