President Biden’s speech calling out the MAGA supporters of former President Donald Trump was a “slap in the face” to Republicans, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul said Sunday.
“I think that if this was a speech to unify the American people, it had just the opposite effect. It basically condemned all Republicans who supported Donald Trump in the last election. That’s over 70 million people,” McCaul said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“And, you know, saying that Republicans are a threat to democracy is really a slap in the face.”
The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said three networks decided against airing Biden’s primetime speech Thursday in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
“It was a campaign speech before the midterm elections, and that’s basically how I see it,” McCaul told host Martha Raddatz.
Biden, in what was billed as a speech about the “soul of the nation,” said Trump Republicans represented a threat to “the republic.”
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said.
“There’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country,” he added.
Raddatz asked McCaul if Trump should also be blamed for contributing to the political divisions in the country.
“We know the rhetoric on both sides has been heightened. I don’t think people in mainstream America particularly like the divisive rhetoric,” he said.
On Friday, Biden tried to walk back his fiery speech, telling reporters, “I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country.”
Turning to the trove of classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, McCaul said the former president “has a different set of rules that apply to him.”
“I have lived in the classified world most of my professional career, I personally wouldn’t do that. But I’m not the president of the United States,” McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.
As president, he said Trump had the ability to “declassify a document on a moment’s notice.”
“I know they were taken out of the White House while he was president and whether or not he declassified those documents remains to be seen. He says he did. I don’t have all the facts there,” the congressman said.
A more detailed inventory released last week of items removed from Mar-a-Lago by FBI agents on Aug. 8 revealed a number of sensitive documents, as well as empty folders, marked as classified.
The list, revealed by US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, showed 54 documents were marked “SECRET,” 31 were labeled “CONFIDENTIAL” and another 18 were called “TOP SECRET.”
Another 48 empty folders labeled with “CLASSIFIED” banners while another 42 empty folders were labeled “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide.”
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