ALL NEWS

Biden calls Trump ‘unfit’ but doesn’t endorse impeachment

Jan 9, 2021, 11:42 AM
Biden calls Trump 'unfit' but doesn't endorse impeachment...
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to announce key administration posts. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden says that President Donald Trump isn’t “fit for the job,” but he repeatedly refused to endorse growing Democratic calls to impeach him a second time.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to members of her chamber that lawmakers could move as early as next week to impeach Trump for inciting a violent mob that overran the U.S. Capitol if the president didn’t “immediately” resign. Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer also have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office — a process for stripping the president of his post and installing the vice president to take over.

Addressing reporters in his home state of Delaware after an event Friday introducing some of his Cabinet choices, Biden noted that a key reason he ran for president was because he’d “thought for a long, long time that President Trump wasn’t fit for the job.”

“I’ve been saying for now, well, over a year, he’s not fit to serve,” Biden said. “He’s one of the most incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America.”

But he refused to back efforts to remove Trump from the White House and insisted that impeachment was up to Congress. Instead, Biden said he was focused on the start of his own administration on Jan. 20, and he said his top three priorities are beating back the coronavirus, distributing vaccines fairly and equitably, and reviving the struggling economy.

His comments laid bare the political balance Biden has worked to strike in the months since winning the presidential election. He has continued to sharply criticize Trump and nearly every facet of his administration but also worked to keep the public’s attention focused on what the new administration will do rather than indulging recriminations against the last one.

Biden nonetheless conceded that Trump “exceeded my worst notions about him. He’s been an embarrassment” and likened the “damage done to our reputation around the world” to “tin horn dictatorships.” The president-elect also suggested that a key hurdle to removing Trump was that he has less than two weeks remaining in his term.

“If we were six months out, we should be doing everything to get him out of office. Impeaching him again, trying to evoke the 25th Amendment, whatever it took,” Biden said. “But I am focused now on us taking control as president and vice president on the 20th and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can.”

Trump would be the only president to be impeached twice. The House impeached him in late 2019, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him. Removal from office could also prevent Trump from running for president in 2024, or ever holding the presidency again.

Most Democrats, and many Republicans, put the blame squarely on Trump after hundreds of rioters broke into the Capitol on Wednesday and caused destruction and mass evacuations. The president had urged his supporters to protest as Congress was counting the electoral votes that confirmed Biden’s win. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

Biden called what happened a “god-awful debacle” and said it had “the active encouragement of the president of the United States.”

The president-elect’s comments came hours after Trump tweeted that he planned to skip Biden’s inauguration, becoming the first president in more than 150 years — and just the fourth in U.S. history — to do so. Biden said he’d be “honored” to have Pence at the swearing-in, but didn’t feel the same way about Trump.

That’s “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on,” Biden said. “It’s a good thing, him not showing up.”

Also Friday, Biden called on the Senate — which will be under narrow Democratic control thanks to a pair of runoff election victories in Georgia — to confirm his Cabinet choices “promptly and fairly.”

“Given what our country’s been through the last few days,” Biden said, “they should be confirmed as close to Jan 20 as possible.”
___
Weissert reported from Washington.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

semi rollover...
Mark Jones

Semi rollover on Legacy Highway reduces traffic to one lane

The Utah Highway Patrol says a semi traveling northbound on Legacy Highway rolled Thursday night around 7:45 p.m. The driver was not hurt.
1 day ago
Layton Police Department...
Mark Jones

Suspect in Wednesday’s I-15 shooting is named, booked into jail

The suspect involved in Wednesday's officer-involved shooting on southbound I-15 has been identified as 28-year-old Michael John Buttel.
1 day ago
avalanche in Utah is pictured...
Mark Jones

Avalanche warning issued in Utah through Saturday morning

On Thursday afternoon, an Avalanche Warning was issued by the Utah Avalanche Center through Saturday morning at 6 a.m.
1 day ago
shops along 2100 S...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Sugar House locals worry 2100 South poses threat to safety and business

As Salt Lake City prepares to rebuild 2100 South, local businesses in Sugar House are asking that safety for foot traffic be a top priority.
1 day ago
UTA confrontation...
Mark Jones

Confrontation with bicyclist sends UTA bus driver to hospital

UTA officials say a confrontation between a bicyclist and a UTA bus driver resulted in the bus driver suffering a broken hip and being hospitalized.
1 day ago
FILE - In a May 19, 2015 file photo, R. Scott Turner, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Me...
Curt Gresseth

Who are SuperAgers and are you one?

The public policy director with the Utah Alzheimer's Association describes the characteristics of so-called SuperAgers and what everyone can do now to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Biden calls Trump ‘unfit’ but doesn’t endorse impeachment