Trump baselessly suggested, first in a Sunday morning tweet and then later during a press conference, that Biden was taking performance enhancing drugs. Trump has been making similar claims for weeks in an apparent effort to preemptively dismiss a strong Biden showing in the first debate, after spending months attacking the former vice president’s mental acuity.
He made a similar call before a 2016 debate against then-opponent Hillary Clinton.
I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night. Naturally, I will agree to take one also. His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2020
At a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Sept. 19, Trump similarly covered his bases ahead of the looming debates, telling supporters not to underestimate Biden because “they give him a big fat shot in the ass and he comes out and for two hours he’s better than ever before.”
Asked about the president’s bizarre demand at an event earlier on Sunday, Biden chuckled and began to respond, but then held back and declined to comment. He has dismissed the accusations as foolish in the past.
His campaign later released an irreverent statement to several media outlets.
“Vice President Biden intends to deliver his debate answers in words. If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it,” the statement said.
“We’d expect nothing less from Donald Trump, who pissed away the chance to protect the lives of 200K Americans when he didn’t make a plan to stop COVID-19.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.