- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vice President Joseph R. Biden accused Donald Trump Tuesday of “doing harm” to the U.S. with the candidate’s claim that the administration supports Iraq’s military offensive to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State to benefit Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

At a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump’s comments about the Mosul operation in the third presidential debate last week angered him.

“He says that our military coalition that is breaking the back of [the Islamic State] and the caliphate in Iraq and Syria is moving on Mosul — he says this with a straight face for the world to hear — because they want to make Hillary Clinton look good,” Mr. Biden said. “What does that say to the world about the prowess and the leadership of the American military?”

Mr. Biden said of the Republican nominee, “He’s already damaging us right now, doing harm to the United States of America. The rest of the world watches the debates.”

At the third debate, Mr. Trump said of the administration’s support for the Mosul offensive, “The only reason they did it is because she’s running for office of president and they want to look tough.”

Referring to Mr. Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, the vice president said, “He probably loves Saddam, if he wants strong leaders,” a reference to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Biden also blasted the Republican nominee for claiming in last week’s debate that U.S. intelligence agencies have no idea whether Russia is responsible for hacking into U.S. election systems.

“This is a man who in the last debate refused to acknowledge what 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, flatly stated, that Russia and Putin are responsible for hacking the Democratic [National Committee] files in order to impact on the outcome of our election,” Mr. Biden said. “When he said to the world listening that ‘I know the intelligence agencies don’t know what they’re talking about,’ what does that say about us? That plays directly into the hands of Putin, who is using the propaganda at home to suggest that we’re weak, we’ve fallen, we are not together, we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Mr. Biden also promoted the Senate candidacy of Democrat Katie McGinty, who is in a tight race to defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

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